Taco Charlton made his debut at The Star on Friday afternoon.
The Dallas Cowboys’ first-round draft pick toured the facility, checking out the five replica Lombardi Trophies in the atrium and later visiting the locker room where his nameplate hung two spots down from Sean Lee.
Charlton, the defensive end out of Michigan expected to boost the Cowboys’ pass rush, also held his first news conference. Among the highlights:
On his nickname Taco (his first name is Vidauntae): “The origin of Taco has to be thanks to my mother and my grandmother. They gave me that name before I was born. It kind of stuck. I really didn’t have nothing to do with it personally. Like I said, once grandmother and your mom give you a name, there’s no really running away from it.”
Why Taco? “They told me why. It’s a long story.”
His taco preference – crispy or soft, beef or chicken? “It’s hard. I feel like if you’ve got a taco, you really can’t go wrong. … I can’t wait to get out there and try all the different tacos [in North Texas]. I heard this is the place to be to look for tacos, so I can’t wait to try some.”
On facing new teammate Ezekiel Elliott in college: “That was a rivalry in college and now it’s a brotherhood here with the Dallas Cowboys. We got a chance to compete in college, he won that matchup, but here we can work together to try and win championships together. He’s a great player, so I can’t wait to work alongside him.”
On going against All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith on a daily basis: “That’s something that coming in as a freshman in college I was going against [Tennessee Titans tackle] Taylor Lewan, so I got baptized very early. I’m a guy who loves to compete, so I never back down from any challenge or anybody. Going against Tyron Smith is definitely going to make me a better player, which is what I want to be, so I can’t wait to get in practice and go against him. If I’m going against him and I’m able to beat him, I’ll be able to beat anyone in the league.”
On Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli: “He’s intense, so it’s going to be a lot of work. But I’m going to love it and he’s going to get the best out of me. That’s what I want to be – I want to be one of the best in the NFL. Coach Marinelli is definitely going to pull it out of me. So I’m happy to be here and happy to have a coach like that.”