Jaguars sign former Cowboys first-round bust amid playoff surge
By Jerry Trotta
The Dallas Cowboys’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars represented one of the lowest points of the season. Those have been few and far between in 2022, but blowing a 17-point lead midway through the third quarter is a terrible look, and might cost Dallas the NFC East and No. 1 seed when all is said and done.
On the surface, though, there’s no shame in losing to the Jaguars. Winners of four straight, including five of six, Jacksonville is the hottest team in the NFL not named the Bengals, who haven’t lost since the first week of November.
Not only are the Jaguars winning, but they’re hammering teams. Their margin of victory during this winning streak is a whopping 16 points.
Taking that into account, it’s really no surprise Trevor Lawrence and company are widely expected to defeat the Titans, who are starting Josh Dobbs at quarterback, in the winner-take-all game for the AFC South Saturday night.
Just days away from the biggest game in recent franchise history, the Jaguars went out and signed one of the Cowboys biggest draft busts in recent franchise history — pass rusher Taco Charlton — to their practice squad.
Former Cowboys defender Taco Charlton signed with the Jaguars
This move has no impact whatsoever on the Cowboys, but it does trigger memories of how woeful the Charlton pick was.
After finishing 13-3 and losing in the Divisional Round in 2016, the Cowboys drafted Charlton with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2017 Draft. A former standout at Michigan, Charlton got every opportunity to stake his claim as a key member of the defense, but never lived up to the billing of a first-round pick.
Charlton appeared in all 16 games (zero starts) as a rookie, notching three sacks, seven quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. After a lack of playing time and production tarnished the relationship between the team and player, Dallas granted Charlton’s request to be released at the start of the 2019 season.
The former Wolverine landed on his feet with the Dolphins, with whom he notched a career-high five sacks and two forced fumbles over 10 games in 2019. He’s since played for three more teams; Kansas City in 2020, Pittsburgh in 2021, and five games with Chicago in 2022 before getting waived last week.
There’s no love lost between Charlton and the Cowboys. You might remember Charlton subtweeting Dallas’ pick of Tyler Smith with the No. 24 overall pick this year. Smith’s arguably been the best rookie OT in 2022, and Charlton just got waived by a two-win team, but that’s neither here nor there.
Not to rub salt in a healed wound, but the list of studs the Cowboys passed on to draft Charlton is utterly depressing. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year, TJ Watt, who went two picks later, David Njoku, Ryan Ramczyk, Budda Baker, Curtis Samuel, and Marcus Williams are just some of the playmakers that went off the board after Charlton.
It’d be great to see Charlton stick somewhere and make a name for himself. Perhaps Doug Pederson is just the guy for the job.