Report: Dallas Cowboys Taco Charlton requested a trade this offseason

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 16: Taco Charlton #97 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 16: Taco Charlton #97 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

According to a source, Taco Charlton, the former first-round selection by the Dallas Cowboys just two years ago, requested a trade this offseason.

When it comes to first-round selections, the Dallas Cowboys have had more success than most in recent years. It’s part of the reason the Cowboys have won their division twice in the past three years and are viewed a potential Super Bowl contenders.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott, left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick, right guard Zack Martin, cornerback Byron Jones, and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch are all former first-rounders selected by the Cowboys since 2011. And all of them have been to a least one or more Pro Bowls.

Yet, there have been a couple of first-round missteps as well. The Cowboys traded up in the 2012 NFL Draft for LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, selecting him sixth overall. But his five-year stint in Dallas was plagued by injury and inconsistent play.

And then there’s Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton. The Cowboys selected Charlton with the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Dallas did so over Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt, who was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers two selections later.

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound defensive end was drafted by Dallas despite being viewed as a developmental player with which the Cowboys had a second-round grade for. Charlton would post a promising rookie season, recording 19 total tackles and 3.0 sacks. But he would record just 1.0 sack in an injury-plagued second year which also included being a healthy scratch at one point.

In comparison, Watt recorded a whopping 20.0 total sacks in his first two seasons. And he was invited to his first Pro Bowl in 2018 after posting 13.0 sacks in his second year in Pittsburgh.

There was some speculation that Charlton could be on the roster bubble this offseason, which is usual for a former first-rounder just two years into his professional career. But Taco seemed to respond to the pressure well, posting a career-performance against the Houston Texans in the Cowboys’ third preseason contest. Charlton racked up three total tackles, 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and a pass deflection in limited snaps.

That performance seemingly saved Charlton from getting released during final cuts last month. But Taco was inactive in the team’s Week One victory over the New York Giants, sparking possible trade rumors. Now, that speculation has been confirmed by NFL Network’s Jane Slater and Ian Rapoport. In fact, according to Slater, Charlton requested to be traded out of Dallas earlier this year.

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It is believed the Dallas Cowboys will once again make Taco Charlton a healthy scratch in their Week Two matchup against the Washington Redskins as a possible trade could be in the works. Regardless, this latest news only confirms the fact the Cowboys made a huge mistake drafting Charlton over T.J. Watt. And Taco will go down as one of the team’s biggest draft blunders.