Controversial Ex-Cowboys Star Signs with Bears in Free Agency

Taco Charlton

Gettyl Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Taco Charlton walks onto the field during an NFL game.

It appears that a former first-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys has a new NFL home after signing with the Chicago Bears in free agency.

The Dallas Cowboys’ own free agency pursuits have been a topic of great debate, but the team has also seen former stars change their scenery. One of the more eye-catching names to change teams recently is Taco Charlton.

Charlton has spent the 2022 season with the New Orleans Saints, primarily on the team’s practice squad. But the NFL’s official waiver wire for November 16 states that the defensive lineman is being signed off the Saints’ practice squad, and is now heading to Chicago.

The Bears recently fell to the Cowboys in Week 8, as Dallas beat up on Chicago 49-28. It’s safe to say that Chicago needs defensive reinforcements, as the Bears have been giving up 24.7 points per game, the seventh-most in the league.

It’s good news for Charlton, who will be looking for his first regular-season appearance in the NFL since his stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021.

Charlton’s Journey Through NFL

Coming out of Michigan, Charlton had a recognizable name and recognizable talent. The defensive lineman had built a reputation of making plays while in Ann Arbor, and the Cowboys invested in Charlton by making him the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

But as Cowboys fans are quick to remember, that investment didn’t actually pay off. Charlton struggled to make an impact, totaling four sacks in 27 games and adding just 28 solo tackles according to Pro Football Reference.

After two rough seasons, the relationship between Dallas and Charlton fell apart and he was released. A single season with the Miami Dolphins saw an upturn in production with five sacks in 10 games, but recent stints with the Chiefs and Steelers have been less successful (2.5 sacks in 18 total appearances.)

Charlton joined his fifth NFL team and was attempting to work his way back onto an NFL roster with New Orleans. That has technically paid off, albeit with the Bears rather than the Saints.

Cowboys and Charlton Still Have Bad Blood

If any fans were wondering about the quality of relationship that Dallas and Charlton have, they got a resounding answer this past offseason. Back in April, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones dropped a backhanded diss to Charlton by calling him a draft bust to the press.

“Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said there is a lot of talk about who makes the draft decisions in building,” DMN reporter Michael Gehlken Tweeted on April 26. “Jones: ‘Taco was Stephen’s call,’ prompting laughter in news conference room.”

It’s nothing vulgar, but it’s certainly using Charlton as the butt of a joke in a press conference. As one might expect, Charlton didn’t appreciate the call-out and dropped a response, although he didn’t use words to fire back at Jones.

If it isn’t clear what the GIF is, the message is that he’s wiping away his tears with dollar bills. Charlton may not have panned out for Dallas, but he did get a guaranteed $7.73 million in his rookie contract with the Cowboys.

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