Unable to find any takers for his services, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones insists embattled defensive end Taco Charlton is valuable manpower whom the team cannot part with.
Jones held his weekly interview with 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday and vehemently denied allegations that Charlton, a healthy scratch in Weeks 1 and 2, is being mothballed to preserve trade value. In fact, he even went so far as cracking the door for Taco to make his 2019 debut Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
“No, that’s not right,” Jones said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “That’s just not right. We need him out there. We need him out there. You notice [Trysten] Hill’s not out there. He may be out there this weekend. The good news is we’ve got that kind of depth in there and we’ve got guys that, maybe it’s because they can go inside or out, but we’ve got guys who have been better for the team to be out there. We’ve got a lot of players there that can help our team and help in any given game. So, it doesn’t surprise me that we have guys that aren’t active. That happens to good football players.”
Jones’ answer is notable because he essentially confirmed that Charlton’s lack of versatility — he cannot play both inside and outside — is contributing to his inactivity. Perhaps it also explains why rookie second-round defensive lineman Trysten Hill can’t crack the gameday roster, either.
The No. 28 overall pick of the 2017 draft with only four sacks to his name, Charlton is a career underachiever, someone whose proverbial light bulb hasn’t so much as flickered, let alone turned on. There appeared to be signs of life this preseason, when he notched a pair of sacks, but it wasn’t enough to dress over the likes of Kerry Hyder, Dorance Armstrong or Christian Covington.
All it did was produce Taco Twitter missives which ranged from cautiously optimistic to cryptically passive-aggressive.
Seeing as how he’s probably stuck with the 24-year-old, and may even have to rely on him, Jones has predictably reversed course, now comfortable going into the unknown not knowing.
“He started out as a number one draft pick,” he said, via the Telegram. “Everyone is aware that their expectations are elevated the minute they have that tag, a number one draft pick. More is expected. That’s probably unfair, if there’s such a word in this process. That’s probably unfair, but you look out there: where’s the number one pick, where’s the number one pick?’ Well, the facts are he’s got a lot of things going for him. He’s got great technique relative to what he does well.
“Everybody wants him to get more techniques. He’ll get more of that. He’s got length. He’s a guy that from the outside can be real effective for you. He doesn’t quite have the position flex, go inside like you might like, so you could have some options there. But overall, Taco can step out there and play winning football for us and may be just early on in his career. So, I’m not in any way dismissing Taco.”
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Maybe. Starting Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford is experiencing issues with his surgically-repaired hip and could be held out for Week 3, multiple outlets reported Tuesday. It’s possible the club turns to veteran pass-rusher Robert Quinn, who’s returning from NFL suspension, to fill in for Crawford, but Quinn is getting over his own injury as well as any accumulated rust.
If only for depth purposes, Dallas could opt to roster Charlton against the Dolphins. Then again, they shouldn’t require that much manpower to topple the 0-2 and transparently-tanking Fish.
Jerry Gets Critical
The Cowboys’ czar wasn’t blowing smoke, or just blowing smoke, during his radio hit. He also took a fairly hard stance regarding Charlton’s social media antics, explaining on The Fan how opposing teams have told him “that’s the last thing I need is someone who puts his business out there, and “you really ought to act in a way that other teams wouldn’t be leery on you.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL