Ex-Cowboys 1st-Round Draft Pick Calls Out Fans, Media: ‘Stop Comparing Us’

Taco Charlton

Getty Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Taco Charlton takes the field before an NFL game.

The Dallas Cowboys have added defensive tackle Mazi Smith with their first pick of the 2023 NFL draft, but one former player doesn’t want any comparison.

The Cowboys selected the former Michigan Wolverine with the 26th overall pick, bolstering the interior defensive line. For Taco Charlton, current free agent defensive tackle and former first-round pick, any chatter comparing him and Smith is unwarranted.

The 28-year-old, who also played on the defensive line at Michigan, most recently played for the Chicago Bears during the 2022 season. Currently without a team, Charlton took to Twitter to make his thoughts known on the selection.

“Me and my situation in Dallas is totally different than what Mazi is walking to so stop comparing us,” Charlton said on April 28. “I’m sure he’ll be a great player for the Boyz give him time.”

Charlton spent two seasons with Dallas after being drafted in 2017, but never made a significant impact with the Cowboys. Over 2017 and 2018, Charlton totaled four sacks and a forced fumble in 27 games.

Dallas will now focus on Smith, who will be joining names like veteran DT Johnathan Hankins and rising star Osa Odighizuwa in that interior group.

Mazi Smith’s First Day with Cowboys

As always for a first-round pick, Smith’s first 24 hours with Dallas have already been an eventful one. The former Michigan man is getting to meet his teammates and check out his future home, and it appears things are going well.

DallasCowboys.com writer Patrik Walker shared a photo of Smith with Odighizuwa and Cowboys offensive tackle Tyler Smith, saying that the DT was the first to reach out to Mazi Smith after he was drafted.

“Mazi Smith says Osa Odighizuwa was one the first to reach out to him and tell him how excited he was. The two already have a chemistry. Tyler Smith made sure to welcome him as well (bring on THAT practice rep in camp) #Cowboys,” Walker Tweeted.

Smith will be looking to start his NFL career like Odighizuwa, who was drafted in the third round in 2021 and has become a key player for Dallas. The former UCLA Bruin has 14 tackles for loss and a forced fumble in his first two seasons.

New Dallas DT Sends a Message

Besides meeting up with two of the other young talents on the Cowboys roster, Smith has been chatting with the media about his expectations and role with Dallas.

According to The Athletic’s Jon Machota, Smith was asked what he will bring to the Cowboys’ defense. His answer was assertive to say the least.

“A dog. A big dog…A big physical guy. I’ve never been afraid of contact. I’ve never been afraid to ball. A guy that’s going to get in somebody’s face. A guy that isn’t going to make it easy,” Smith said.

His jersey number choice will also set high expectations: the 21-year-old is going to wear No. 58 because of Buffalo Bills defensive end Von Miller, arguably a future hall-of-famer.

Interestingly enough, Smith will get to be on the same field as Miller in 2023 when the Cowboys take on the Bills in Buffalo.

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