Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli doesn’t know how to sugarcoat things.
So when asked to assess the play of rookie defensive end Taco Charlton following Thursday’s 20-18 victory against the Arizona Cardinals in the preseason opener, he was blunt.
“Wasn’t good enough,” Marinelli said of the rookie first-round pick who is expected to help save the Cowboys pass rush.
“I need to look at the tape. But wasn’t good enough.”
Per Pro Football Focus, Charlton had no pressures on seven attempts to rush the passer.
But what was also true is that Charlton didn’t get many chances in what was his first ever pro outing. He participated in just 16 snaps over the course of three series on defense.
Coach Jason Garrett wasn’t alarmed, saying that Charlton will get plenty of opportunities going forward.
Charlton, who had more than 20 friends and family come up from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio for the game, obviously wanted to play more. But he deferred to the wishes of his coaches.
“You want to play more…only got to play 15 or 16 plays,” Charlton said. “It happens. Coach is protecting me. I do what I need to do and run with it. I got a got a good burn out there. I got a chance to get my feet wet. So it was a good chance to get out there and play in an NFL game.”
Charlton said he had no problem with the speed of the game. It was adjusting to the different offensive linemen because you don’t get to study them like during the regular season.
He also understands that he will be given more and more as the team gets closer to the regular season.
“I’m patient,” Charlton said. “Coach Marinelli has a plan for me. So I’m patient. I’m going to let everything come to me.”