Jerry Jones has said he would like to add a war daddy to the Dallas Cowboys defense. Could that player already be on the roster?
It doesn’t take an expert to realize that pass rush is one of the Cowboys biggest needs. All you really had to do was watch the 2014 or 2016 playoff games against the Packers to determine that. That’s why no one was surprised when Jerry Jones announced he wanted to add a “war daddy” to the defense.
For those unfamiliar with the term “war daddy”, it is Jerry Jones speak for high-end pass rusher. The Hall of Fame owner makes it no secret that he fully intends to add a dominant player to the defensive line this off season. But as he has said himself, the only question is from where?
Well, maybe Jerry should start by looking right under his nose. Rookie defensive end Charles Tapper missed the entire 2016 season due to injury. He was also a bit of an unknown player coming into the league.
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Part of the reason may have been misuse. In his college days, Tapper played defensive end in a 3-4 scheme at the University of Oklahoma. The Cowboys clearly see him as a 4-3 end, otherwise they wouldn’t have drafted him 101st overall in the 2016 Draft.
If you watch Tapper play at Oklahoma, one of the first things you notice is his speed, and that’s backed up in his Combine performance as well. Charles Tapper ran the fastest 40-yard dash of defensive lineman at the 2016 Combine with a 4.59 second run.
Personally, I also noticed some flashes of a dominant pass rusher. There were several plays where he pushed a tackle straight back into the quarterback. In others, he managed to bend his away around the edge, and beat the tackle on his way to sack.
However, Tapper needs to improve his technique. At times his pads are a bit high, which allows offensive tackles to stand him up and prevent him from making an impact with his rush.
But fortunately for the Cowboys, they have one of the best NFL coaches for developing war daddies. If Rod Marinelli can get some good technique work in with Tapper over training camp, he has potential to be an impact player next season.
For now, all we can do is hope. Hope that the Cowboys do end up finding a war daddy to chase down quarterbacks all the way to the Super Bowl.