Charlton signed a deal with the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, making the NFC West squad his seventh different team since departing from the Cowboys in 2019. Charlton has just 7.5 sacks since leaving the Cowboys and has had trouble finding a permanent home and consistent reps. He most recently appeared in five games with the Chicago Bears, collecting just three tackles.
Charlton made a name for himself in college at Michigan, where he tallied 10 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss during his senior season.
Nick Bosa, the 49ers star pass-rusher and reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is currently holding out, leaving a spot on the depth chart for Charlton to come in.
“I don’t like not having one of our best players here,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “We’ve got a really good track record that I’m proud of as a group of having our players in. But I also understand it and understand that we’re going to have to exhibit some patience and understand that ultimately this thing will work out. I’m very confident in that and we’re just going to have to have that right mix of urgency and patience.”
The 49ers have knocked the Cowboys out of the playoffs in the last two seasons.
Cowboys Very Confident in Depth on Defensive Line
It’s safe to say that the Cowboys aren’t missing Charlton too much. Dallas boasts one of the top defensive lines in the league and head coach Mike McCarthy has expressed a ton of confidence in the team’s depth.
“I think this is the most depth I’ve ever had on the defensive line,” McCarthy said. “I love it. We can’t get enough work. This is the perfect illustration of why we’re not practicing against other teams.”
Veteran Johnathan Hankins, powerful rookie Mazi Smith, and three-time Pro Bowler Demarcus Lawrence are some of the key pieces on the defensive line. They’ll also be accompanied by DPOY contender Micah Parsons, who is officially listed as a linebacker but will be spending a chunk of time in the trenches. Parsons had 13 sacks as a rookie in 2021 and followed that up with 13.5 last season. Parsons recently promised he’ll have more than 13.5 sacks next season, citing his offseason work.
“My offseason development been through the roof, you know, trying to learn. The biggest thing is just knowing that you’re not the best and where you want to be,” Parsons told The Blitz on San Antonio Sports Star. “When you strive for perfection, you try to grab anything, you know, I’m listening to conversations, I’m listening to offseason workouts. I’m listening to what you anticipate, what you’re looking at.”
Cowboys Rookie Mazi Smith Making Waves
The Cowboys used their first-round pick this year on Smith, which added some bulk to the middle of their defensive line. And Smith is ready to make an immediate impact.
“I don’t do no talking. Nah, I’m trying to hit you. I don’t got nothing to say,” Smith said during the first day of padded practice. “I don’t even like football. I like hitting people.”
Smith was a first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2022 at Michigan, collecting 48 tackles — 2.5 for loss — in 14 starts. He was more of a run-stuffer in college but the Cowboys plan to utilize his ability to get to the quarterback more often.