Dallas Cowboys: Is this the end of the road for Charles Tapper?
After struggling with injuries throughout his short career, is this the end of the road for Dallas Cowboys defensive end Charles Tapper?
It’s hard to imagine that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott wasn’t a top selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. In fact, Prescott was picked in the fourth round by America’s Team. But Dak wasn’t even the top selection in that round.
The Cowboys has two selections in the fourth round in that year’s draft. With that first pick (101st overall), Dallas opted to select Oklahoma defensive end Charles Tapper over the quarterback out of Mississippi State who would eventually change the direction of their franchise.
Tapper was primarily a traits prospect whom many believed played out of position during his time with the Sooners. A freakish athlete at 6-foot-2, 270 pounds, the defensive end blazed a 4.59 forty at the NFL Scouting Combine and posted one of the top SPARQ scores among his pass rushing peers.
Unfortunately, Tapper’s rookie year was sacked before it even began after he suffered a back injury prior to the start of his first season that revealed an undiagnosed Pars Defect. Medically cleared, Tapper played in just two games during his second year before suffering another season-ending injury, this time a broken foot. He recorded three total tackles and a sack in 2017.
Entering his third season with the Cowboys, Tapper faces an uphill battle to even make the active roster as Dallas has an abundance of talent at his position. New defensive ends like Kony Ealy and rookie Dorance Armstrong were added to the roster in the offseason.
They join a deep depth chart that already features one of the league’s top pass rushers in DeMarcus Lawrence, 2017 first round selection Taco Charlton, veteran starter Tyrone Crawford and recently re-instated former second-rounder, Randy Gregory.
With so much competition at the defensive end position, and considering his injury history, this summer could very well be the end of the road for Tapper in Dallas. But one insider also thinks the 25-year old still has the talent to make a significant impact on this defense.
"“I have a lot of hope of Tapper. I’d love for him to have a camp where he is injury free. There is so much talent there but bad luck has taken games away from him,” wrote football analyst Bryan Broaddus during a mailbag question on the team’s official website. “If completely healthy he has a chance to help this club in a big way. If he gets injured again, he knows this is the end for his time here.”"
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For Charles Tapper, staying healthy must be his top priority. Back in May, Tapper suffered a concussion that limited his conditioning this offseason. It’s not a good start for what could be his final opportunity to prove to the Dallas Cowboys that he can be a reliable performer for them.