We’ve had a lot of time to digest the 2017 Dallas Cowboys season, its ups and its downs, in an effort to move on to 2018.
The first non-football Sunday is always a reminder of exactly how long the offseason can be, and the Cowboys have a lot to improve upon. One of those points could be their first-round draft choice, pass rusher Taco Charlton.
Taco may have been the least popular first-round pick by the Cowboys in quite some time, but he did have moments throughout his rookie campaign that made you understand what the Cowboys see in him. For what it’s worth, Cowboys legend Charles Haley didn’t see a lot at first either.
5-Time Super Bowl Champion Charles Haley (and all his swagger) stopped by The Blitz on Radio Row out in Minneapolis on Wednesday. Check out Jason and Rob talking juicy Cowboys details with him here.Posted by ESPN San Antonio on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Haley joined ESPN San Antonio last week during Radio Row in Minnesota. If you head over to about the 5:30 mark, you can hear Haley’s thoughts on Taco Charlton.
Charles starts kindly, noting that Taco came on at the end of the season, but he then starts to peel away layer by layer. He says that Taco, similar to all first-rounders, put too much pressure on himself.
One of the first disconcerting things that Haley notes is that in his initial impression of Taco, he didn’t know if he (Taco) enjoyed playing football or was just good at it.
What’s more is that Haley says he heads out to work with the Cowboys pass rushers about once a week, admitting this is only a small glimpse, and that when he did some film study work with Taco... he was surprised at Charlton’s lack of football knowledge.
Charlton finished 2017 with three sacks on the season, and his struggles early on do lend to the idea that maybe he doesn’t have the same grasp on the subject material as his peers. Charles Haley is a five-time Super Bowl Champion, so it’s not like he has no idea of the magnitude of what he’s saying.
There were previous discussions that maybe the Cowboys could have been changing defensive coordinators from Rod Marinelli to Matt Eberflus, and while that wouldn’t have been an incredible schematic change, it is certainly helpful for Taco that what he’s learning is more of the same.
The pressure for Taco Charlton to live up to his first round draft status will be high in 2018, hopefully Charles Haley or whoever else can help him achieve it.