Bears Sign Former Cowboys 1st-Round Pass Rusher to Active Roster

Taco Charlton

Getty Former Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Taco Charlton has been signed by the Chicago Bears.

Taco Charlton is headed to the Windy City.

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus met with the media on November 16 and confirmed the Bears have signed the former Dallas Cowboys first-round pick off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad. Charlton has yet to play in a game this season.

The 28th overall pick for the Cowboys in 2017, the defensive end has played in 55 games over his five seasons in the NFL, starting 13. He has amassed 92 total tackles (12 for loss), 11.5 sacks, 22 QB hits and four forced fumbles in that span.

In an additional roster move, Eberflus also announced the team activated linebacker Matt Adams off of injured reserve.

Taco Charlton Has Connection to Bears HC Matt Eberflus, GM Ryan Poles

Charlton already has a connection in Chicago, as he knows Eberflus from their time in Dallas. When Charlton was drafted in 2017, Eberflus served as the Cowboys linebackers coach, and they worked together that season.

The two will be reunited in the Windy City, where Charlton will likely provide pass rushing depth behind Trevis Gipson and Al-Quadin Muhammad, who missed Chicago’s Week 10 game against the Detroit Lions. We could see Charlton as soon as November 20, when the Bears head to Atlanta to play the Falcons.

Charlton also has a connection to Bears general manager Ryan Poles, who served as Kansas City’s assistant director of player personnel when the DE was there in 2020.

“When I was in Dallas we drafted him there,” Eberflus said on November 16. “He was in Kansas City for a touch with Ryan, so we know the man. Good production up to a certain point. I think he had 11 and a half sacks, 13 TFLs, maybe 76 QB pressures during his course of time in the NFL, so we’re excited to have him. We’re excited to see where it can go. He’s going to be in there for depth for us, a rotational player inside and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Through 10 games, the Bears defense has managed just 15 sacks, which is tied for 29th in the week. The unit needs all the help it can get. We’ll see if Charlton gives them a boost.

Taco Charlton: Background & Stats

Charlton, 28, attended the University of Michigan from 2013 to 2016. He was an All-Big Ten First Team selection as a senior in 2016, establishing himself as one of the better pass rushers in the nation. In 46 games with the Wolverines, Charlton racked up 93 total tackles (56 solo, 28 for loss), 19.0 sacks, a forced fumble and two passes defensed.

He appeared and all 16 games as a rookie with the Cowboys in 2017, and he played in 11 games the following year, when he also had seven starts. He had surgery to repair his shoulder issue at the conclusion of his 2018 campaign, and he didn’t stay in Dallas too long ( after that.

The Cowboys chose to part ways with him after failing to find a trade partner for him early on in the 2019 season. He landed in Miami with the Dolphins after that, where he had the best season of his NFL career. In 10 games and five starts with Miami in 2019, Charlton finished with career highs in sacks (5.0) and forced fumbles (2), also adding five QB hits and three tackles-for-loss.

He has bounced around a bit since, spending time on the active rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 and the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021. He appeared in 11 games for the Steelers last year, starting one.

The Saints signed him to their practice squad heading in to the 2022 regular season, which is where the Bears snagged him. We’ll see how early and often he’ll be called on to contribute, particularly if Muhammad continues to miss time.

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