Taco Charlton Lands with Cowboys’ Upcoming Opponent

Taco Charlton

Getty Taco Charlton

Well, how’s this for a storyline?

Roughly 24 hours after he was predictably waived by the Dallas Cowboys, Taco Charlton could now be days away from suiting up against his now-former team.

The Miami Dolphins on Thursday claimed Charlton, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, adding significant intrigue to Sunday’s meeting of the teams — suddenly a revenge game — at AT&T Stadium.

Charlton would have been free to sign with any team if he wasn’t poached from the scrap heap. Instead, Miami takes a flier on the 2017 first-round draft pick, whose Cowboys tenure was marred by failed expectations and admitted personality conflicts.

There’s a chance, however slight, Charlton is active for the contest and play limited snaps. Interestingly, the Cowboys are starting ex-Dolphins pass-rusher Robert Quinn, fresh off a two-game suspension, in place of the injured Tyrone Crawford (hip). This will represent Quinn’s Dallas debut, and a prime juxtaposition from the 24-year-old Charlton in his new aqua garb.

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Garrett Reveals Reason for Taco’s Release

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett explained away Charlton’s departure, rationale layered in coachspeak from the veteran head man. Holding his pre-practice press conference Thursday, a day after Charlton was chopped in a widely anticipated transaction, Garrett justified the move as being “in the best interest” of the organization.

“We made that decision yesterday with Taco to release him really in the best interest of our football team,” he said, via NBCDFW.com. “We really wish him nothing but the best going forward, unfortunately, it didn’t work out the way we want it to. It’ll give him an opportunity to go somewhere else and we’ll move on as a team.”

Charlton appeared in 27 games across three still-incomplete seasons — the fewest games played for a Cowboys first-rounder since 1986 top choice Mike Sherrard (16). His lack of production (four career sacks) and position inflexibility (can’t play inside) notwithstanding, Charlton apparently rubbed those within the facility the wrong way. He revealed that his agent told him the coaches were turned off by his attitude, and one anonymous Cowboys official, after his release was announced, described the 24-year-old as “soft.”

Financial Relief

That Charlton was claimed off waivers, and didn’t outright sign elsewhere, is a benefit to Dallas, which will save $1.83 million in guarantees, stemming from Taco’s four-year rookie contract that carries a $1.376 million base salary for 2019 and $2.735 million salary cap number.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL