The Dallas Cowboys, notorious for waiting to sign draft picks, broke away from form by coming to terms with first-round pick Taco Charlton.
It’s the first time since owner Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989 that the Cowboys have ever had a top draft pick under contract before the rookie mini camp, which begins Friday and runs through Sunday, according to a source.
The defensive end from Michigan will get a four-year deal with a team-option for a fifth year.
Terms were not disclosed, but the Charlton deal will be in the ballpark of last year’s 28th pick, guard Joshua Garnett of the San Francisco 49ers, who signed a four-year deal worth $9.3 million, including a $4.9 million signing bonus.
Charlton was the team’s top priority on the draft because of the need for pass rush help. He had 9.5 sacks in 2016 in his only season as a starter Michigan.
But the Cowboys believe his best football is in front of him and see him as a player ready to play in the team’s 4-3 scheme because that’s the defense he played in at Michigan.
Charlton will start out at right end, but he has the ability to rush the tackle and left defensive end positions.