Defensive end has been a position of need for the Dallas Cowboys ever since DeMarcus Ware departed for Denver. The front office found itself faced with the opportunity to address this concern on Thursday night and they seized the opportunity by making Taco Charlton the 28th selection of the NFL Draft.
Charlton will find a home in Rod Marinelli's Merry Band of Rushmen. He proved himself to be a player who believes in attacking blockers from the start. Marinelli will appreciate that his new protégé uses his long reach to effectively control his man and move him out of the way to free up a path into the offensive backfield. His violent style of play will allow Taco to begin making his mark early on with the Dallas defense.
That violence will be needed, not only to set the tone up front, but also because Charlton is still raw. His moves are somewhat predictable due to his limited experience. That is where playing under the rushman whisperer will benefit Taco the most. With only one season as a starter for Michigan, Charlton still has a lot to learn. He could not be in a better place for a post-graduate course in rushing the passer
He has shown that he is the type of athlete who can be coached up. The Wolverine staff laid a solid foundation and then built on it over Charlton's time in Ann Arbor. It took some time for him to make an impact but when Charlton finally got an opportunity he took hold and never let go. Expect the same thing to happen in Dallas.
While he is not a one-trick pony by any means, Charlton will strengthen his repertoire under the Cowboys defensive staff. Expect his initial contributions to come as he bullies his way through opposing offensive lines and feasts on opposing passers. As the season wears on he will begin to round out his skillset and become a solid all around defensive lineman.
Experience is the one tool lacking in Charlton's arsenal, and there is only one way for the player to gain that. He must play, and play he will.
The fact that he will be facing one of the game's top offensive lines day after day as he makes a transition should not be overlooked. As D-Ware once schooled Tyron Smith, now Smith will now educate the man who follows in Ware's footsteps. He will learn from the best.
The Dallas Cowboys invested in a player who will hopefully redefine their defensive front. It is easy to get down on him when the inevitable rookie mistakes happen, but those will soon become learning opportunities for Taco Charlton. The man will come to Dallas with the intention of making a mark on the Cowboys, and it will not take long before the results are seen.
The beast is back in the defensive linemen's meeting room.
Long live the beast!