The Dallas Cowboys could order a Taco to go, and Charlton appears to be bracing for the inevitability.
The third-year defensive end, long the subject of trade rumors and release speculation, took to Twitter on Thursday to drop a message about his status with the organization — a message as cryptic as they come.
Now, one can look at this with a half-glass full approach and assume Charlton is merely anticipating his 2019 Dallas debut, whenever that happens, if it does. He’s raring to get on the field and help his team earn more W’s.
Or, the pessimist point of view: Charlton knows his departure is looming and he’s simply, if subconsciously, trying to expedite the process. And perhaps not-so-subconsciously, since he already admitted the process had been initiated.
“Me and my agent, we had our talk,” Charlton said after the Cowboys’ preseason loss to the 49ers on Aug. 10. “We hear a lot of things. Like I said, I go out with the same thing each time. I try with the same thing, I go out there and play hard, try to be the best player on the field. My mentality never changes. I try to dominate the guy I’m against and try to make plays for this team and the type of plays for this defense that makes us a better defense for sure.”
In reality, it likely falls somewhere in the middle. Charlton no doubt wants to join his brethren on the gridiron, but lack of production often spells a short tenure in this profession — a cutthroat business first and lucrative sport second.
The end game? Tick, tock. Tick, tock …
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Taco Trade in The Works?
The ballyhooed No. 28 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft, a career underachiever with only four regular season sacks to his name, was a healthy scratch for the Dallas Cowboys‘ opener against the New York Giants — always an ominous sign.
Another ominous sign? The Cowboys are involved in player-for-player trade talks with an undisclosed team involving Charlton and an unnamed player, according to in-house reporter Bryan Broaddus.
During a live video appearance breaking down Dallas’ Week 2 matchup in Washington, Broaddus inferred the Cowboys aren’t seeking much in exchange for the underachieving defensive end.
“I think they would shoot for a five [fifth-round draft pick] right now, I really do. I don’t think there’s a, you know, you’re going to get a whole lot of value there,” he said, via Blogging The Boys. “I know there’s a team that they’re talking to, I don’t want to get into the team because I don’t want to hurt their chances with the team. But there’s a team they’re talking to about another player on that team at a position that can help them.”
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 shipping him elsewhere. 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.
Status for Sunday
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether Charlton plays against the Washington Redskins in the Cowboys’ inaugural 2019 road tilt. If the club is mothballing him in order to preserve a semblance of trade value, he’ll be a healthy scratch for the second straight week — and probably until he’s gone, or injury strikes.
Assuming he’s inactive, Dorance Armstrong and Kerry Hyder will continue as the direct backup DEs to starters DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford. Veteran Robert Quinn is slated to return from NFL suspension in Week 3.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL