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After Further Review: Cowboys Taco Charlton Was The Right Pick

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Some fans aren’t sure what to think about the Cowboys first-round selection, but rest assured - he was the right choice.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in four years I did not jump out of my chair in jubilation when the Cowboys made their first-round pick. There were no chest bumping to my friends. No high fives. Not even a smile. I did not jump online and go to the NFL pro shop and order up my Taco Charlton jersey. Rather than excitement, there was this calmness that overtook my body. It wasn’t like I hated the pick. I certainly didn’t. In fact, a month ago I stated that if I was a gambling man, I’d bet a sizable amount of chips that the Cowboys would be drafting one of these three defensive ends with their first-round pick: Takkarist McKinley, Charles Harris, or Taco. And I was very happy with that arrangement.

So, now why do I have the glum face?

Well, there are a couple of reasons of which I will now share with you.

Raised Expectations

The first reason that this seems like a disappointing pick is that the draft started to tease us. With so many offensive players being taken off the board, the selection of great defenders were plentiful. When the Washington Redskins were able to steal Alabama’s Jonathan Allen at pick 17, jealously started creeping in. Allen was arguably one of the top five players in this draft and the Redskins hit the jackpot with him still being available when they picked. So, if others could land these great value picks, then certainly the Cowboys can too, right?

But then the worm turned and a run of defensive players happened. As it often does, the draft started evening itself out. 12 of the last 15 picks leading up to the Cowboys pick were defensive players. Ouch. While at one point in the draft it looked like the table was being set for the Cowboys to enjoy a nice juicy steak, but they would eventually learn that there would be no steak available. Instead, they got a Taco.

He’s Not Our Guy

The range of pet cats for this pick has been greater than I have seen in quite some time for a Cowboys first round selection. Personally, I wanted Takkarist McKinley and had to watch my dreams come crashing down with the Atlanta Falcons jumping a couple spots ahead in order to steal him from Dallas. Would Takk even had been the Cowboys pick? Who knows?

Then there was the large following of T.J. Watt that had to endure the team passing him up even though he was sitting right there for the taking. And if you didn’t have a favorite edge rusher high on your list for pick 28, then you probably wanted the Cowboys to select Washington cornerback, Kevin King.

Regardless of who your guy was, unless you were a Taco fanatic, you were left disappointed.

But after sleeping on it, there are a couple reasons why we should feel real good about this selection.

First off, this was the best play for Dallas. Sometimes there are things you have to do that you aren’t overly excited about, but they are necessary. This is one of those things. The Cowboys liked what Charlton has to offer, more so than any other edge rusher left in the draft. Closet scouts will try to force-feed you a different opinion of his ability, but what value does that have over the opinion of Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys scouting department? The Cowboys draft All Pro’s left and right in the first round, buy hey – let’s suddenly start doubting their ability to pick good players.

Charlton may not be one of those stars the Cowboys have drafted in recent years. He may end up being very blasé like Byron Jones. In a re-draft a couple years from now, he may end up being picked again at 28 giving the Cowboys no added value for that selection. But so what. When a team is picking so late in the draft, you can’t expect them to be pulling rabbits out of their hats every time. There were so many teams that left their fans feeling like they stepped on a mine and blew up their chances to get better, but the Cowboys aren’t one of them. He may not be a home run pick, but Charlton will be a good player on a team that needs help at that position.

And speaking of position, if you wanted Kevin King real bad, you have to realize the Cowboys have already scoped out the talent distribution in this draft and are ready to pounce on defensive backs today. The front office feels strongly that the best way to make this team better is taking Taco now and a corner later.

So sit back and enjoy day two. Hopefully when pick 60 gets here, the Cowboys can land a strong starter at cornerback. And if they can pull off a nice haul in the secondary, this team will check off some important boxes as they move towards the 2017 season.