A NFL.com analyst predicts that Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive end Taco Charlton will notch 10-plus sacks in his rookie season.
Despite the Dallas Cowboys attempts to find a dominate pass rusher in the past few seasons, they have been unsuccessful filling the void left by future Hall of Fame defensive end DeMarcus Ware, after letting the legend go back in March of 2014.
This offseason, for the first time since Ware’s departure from Dallas, the Cowboys elected to use their first round selection in the NFL Draft to address their pass rushing needs. With the 28th overall pick, Dallas selected Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton.
But first year pass rushers are notorious for their poor professional starts. In fact, only one rookie posted double-digit sack totals last season in the NFL, and that was the third overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers’ Joey Bosa. And he was the first rookie to do so since 2011!
So what are the chances Charlton, whom the Cowboys themselves had a second round grade on, could come into the league and post a double-digit sack total in his first season? According to one NFL insider, they’re pretty good.
"“If this year’s rookie defenders make an immediate impact on a unit otherwise lacking in star power, America’s Team will repeat as division champs,” wrote NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks on the league’s official website. “First-round pick Taco Charlton should give the pass rush a boost as an energetic edge defender with the length and athleticism to notch 10-plus sacks as a first-year starter. Chidobe Awuzie (Round 2) and Jourdan Lewis (Round 3) should contribute immediately as potential starters (CB2 and nickel, respectively) in a defensive backfield that desperately needs playmakers.”"
Although Brooks’ prediction should be music Cowboy fans’ ears, the fact is Dallas likes to rotate their defenders pretty heavily. That’s been mainly due to a lack of a dominate pass rusher on the roster as well as an attempt to keep their players physically fresh.
And certainly a rookie like the 22-year old Charlton, whom many consider to be a developmental player, will be lost in that substitution shuffle along with other pass rushers like veterans Benson Mayowa, Damontre Moore and second-year unknown Charles Tapper.
But if Taco Charlton can begin to make plays and start to separate himself from the pack, we’ve seen this Dallas coaching staff quickly and heavily increase snaps to hot players in the past. That could give a growing rookie like Taco, someone that recorded 6.0 sacks in his final five games at Michigan last year, the pass rushing opportunities he needs to crack double-digits in his rookie campaign.