Ex-Cowboys First Rounder Signs with Jaguars in Free Agency

Taco Charlton

Getty Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton makes a sack during an NFL game.

The Dallas Cowboys crossed paths with the Jacksonville Jaguars recently, and now a former first-round pick of Dallas’ is joining the Jags in free agency.

Dallas lost a 40-34 heartbreaker in Jacksonville on December 18, but has rebounded in a big way with victories over the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans. Now, former Cowboys defensive tackle Taco Charlton is looking for his own rebound with Jacksonville.

According to the NFL’s official waiver wire, Charlton is signing to the Jaguars’ practice squad. This comes just a few days since he was released by the Chicago Bears, where he made five appearances this season.

Charlton’s tenure with the Cowboys and ensuing departure was controversial, to say the least. Read more about Charlton and Dallas’ issues here, but the short of it is that Charlton didn’t live up to his potential, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn’t shy away from calling him a bust.

Despite Charlton’s struggles at the NFL level, he is still clearly held in high regard and he’s getting another opportunity with the Jaguars.

Charlton’s Time with the Cowboys

As an NFL prospect at Michigan, there was a lot to like about Charlton. He had NFL-level size at 6’6″ and 270 pounds, and he backed it up with a productive career with the Wolverines, including a 10-sack senior season.

Dallas liked the fact that Charlton could play on the weak or strong side of a defensive line, and took the defender with the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. Pro Football Reference shows that the 28-year-old did earn three sacks in his rookie year, but never earned a starting spot.

Charlton did get seven starts in 2018, but failed to better or match his rookie year with just one sack. A shoulder injury limited the defensive end to 11 total appearances before the playoffs, but he played just 23 snaps in two postseason games.

By the 2019 offseason, there was clearly something wrong as Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins reported on the personal meeting then-defensive coordinator had with Charlton in which he demanded more of the defender.

As fans will remember, it didn’t change much. Charlton remained on the roster but was declared inactive in the team’s first two games, and the defender Charlton cut by mid-September after the Cowboys’ failed attempts to trade him.

Jaguars Become Charlton’s 7th NFL Team

After being released by Dallas, Charlton’s immediate first stop was with the Miami Dolphins, which also happened to be where he produced at his best. Charlton registered five sacks in 10 games and also forced two fumbles.

The Kansas City Chiefs brought the pass-rusher in during the 2020 offseason. The former Michigan star was primarily considered as a depth option, but he did get home for two sacks in seven games.

In 2021, Charlton was released and again jumped to a new team with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The defensive end started a game for the first time since 2019, but his production continued to dip with Charlton registering a single half-sack.

Unfortunately for the 28-year-old, 2022 didn’t go well either. The former Cowboy played five games, made one solo tackle and played 67 total snaps.

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