Jerry Jones isn’t saying Taco Charlton’s on his way out. But he didn’t not say that, either.
“I know there is some discussion. We don’t get into that. I am really excited about getting Robert Quinn back. That is really big for us,” Jones said, via Jori Epstein of USA Today.
Quinn, who was dealt to Big D this offseason, returns from NFL suspension in Week 3, just in time to face his former team, the tanking Miami Dolphins. His addition further crowds an already log-jammed depth chart, which features Dorance Armstrong, Christian Covington and Kerry Hyder as the direct backups to starting defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford.
The Cowboys were granted a roster exemption for Quinn, which expires at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Might the club free a spot by shipping off Charlton, the No. 28 overall draft pick of the 2017 NFL draft? We shall soon know …
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On Sunday, prior to the game, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport suggested a Taco trade may be consummated this week, aligning with the news that Dallas held discussions with Miami about stud defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Cowboys, too, have supposedly engaged in player-for-player talks with an unnamed team involving Charlton and an undisclosed player.
“One situation to watch over the next few days: The #Cowboys have had recent trade talks surrounding first-round pass-rusher Taco Charlton, sources tell me and @SlaterNFL,” Rapoport tweeted. “While nothing is imminent, it could heat up this week. Charlton will be inactive today.”
Taco Sends Another Ominous Tweet
Last week, Charlton tweeted, “The waiting game continues,” a cryptic reference to his tenous status with the organization. It was unclear whether he meant waiting to get on the field or waiting for his ticket out of town. He was at it again Sunday night, with a tweet shrouded in just as much mystery.
Charlton has bordered on the B-word — bust — to this point, with four sacks to his name through 27 appearances. He was viewed as a potential release candidate before a highly impressive preseason in which he consistently buzzed around the ball.
Assuming they find a taker for Taco and agree to the compensation, Dallas would essentially break even ($1.376 million in savings, $1.358 million in dead money) by moving on. Charlton is entering the third year of his four-year, $10.028 million rookie contract, set to make $1.376 million in base salary for 2019 while counting $2.735 million against the cap.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL