Taco Charlton hasn’t made much of an impact through his first four NFL games.
The Dallas Cowboys’ first-round pick out of Michigan has registered just three tackles, including one tackle for loss, and been credited with one quarterback pressure by the coaching staff in 101 snaps.
That’s not the sort of production the Cowboys were hoping for when they used the 28th overall pick on Charlton to bolster their pass rush. Charlton is the first to say it, too.
”I’m not satisfied, definitely not,” Charlton said. “Right now, the biggest thing is working in the role I’m given. I’m used to playing 60, 70 plays last year, so getting in a rhythm faster is probably the biggest thing, biggest factor for me.”
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The Cowboys like to use a rotation along their defensive line to keep guys fresher. That’s why Charlton is averaging about 25 snaps a game. But Charlton and the Cowboys aren’t down on themselves yet.
Charlton recently saw Kobe Bryant’s Muse documentary on Showtime, which chronicled Bryant’s struggles as a rookie. Bryant, of course, went on to have one of the best careers in the history of the NBA.
“I just try to keep my head down and keep working,” Charlton said. “It’s only four games in and we have 12 more regular-season games. My plan is to be effective more and more.
“I’m not the most paitent guy, I want the process to hurry up.”
So do the Cowboys and their coaching staff.
“The production has got to get better, the overall production,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “And he’s getting good looks, enough looks. Now it is time as the season goes, the production has to come at that position. But he is working hard at it at practice and it’s just a matter of time.”
Owner Jerry Jones echoed those thoughts and remains high on Charlton. He recalled an old Tom Landry mantra that you shouldn’t judge defensive lineman until their third season. Defensive linemen typically take longer to develop than other positions.
Of course, as Jones said, the game has changed over the years, but the Cowboys aren’t about to give up on Charlton. Jones pointed to Charlton’s versatility and length as being effective both as an end and interior player going forward.
“He’s got a natural gift that he uses well,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “He’s extremely young. I think when he puts his techniques and gets a feel for the way you have to play this game, I think he’s going to be a great player for us.
“I really do.”