Dallas Cowboys

Taco Charlton staying positive despite just one tackle in first two NFL games

Taco Charlton is off to a slow start in his NFL career with just one tackle in two games.
Taco Charlton is off to a slow start in his NFL career with just one tackle in two games. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Taco Charlton has played a combined 59 snaps in his first two NFL games. All he has to show for it is one tackle and a quarterback pressure.

But the lack of production hasn’t made it hard for Charlton to stay positive. The Dallas Cowboys’ first-round pick out of Michigan feels it’s only a matter of time before plays begin falling his way.

“It comes, man,” Charlton said. “Some plays just didn’t fall my way. I was close a couple times, it just didn’t fall my way. It happens. Go back to the drawing board, keep working on my moves and everything like that in practice.

Asked if it’s hard to keep a positive mentality, Charlton said: “It’s not hard. The group we have around us, D-line wise, it’s not hard at all. The way we uplift each other, stay on each other to get better, it’s not hard at all.”

Still, Charlton understands the spotlight he’s under being a first-round pick. The Cowboys have been desperately trying to improve their pass rush in recent years, and finally used a first-round pick to address it in this year’s draft.

They didn’t have a first-round grade on Charlton, but felt he was the best option for them with the 28th overall pick. After all, Charlton improved each season at Michigan and had 10 sacks a season ago.

The stars were less than bright as the Denver Broncos dominated the Dallas Cowboys 42-17 Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Charlton, 22, brushed off the “first-round label” as being difficult to live up to early on in his career.

“People have unrealistic expectations,” Charlton said. “I mean, I have expectations on myself, but people are going to feel some type of way no matter what. At the end of the day, it’s all done with, all that, it’s all over and done with. They can’t change that anyway.

“Right now, I’m just trying to help this team win games. That’s the biggest thing right now, especially after the game we had. My goal is to help this team win any way I can and do some things on the field that help us win these games the next couple of weeks.”

Charlton recorded his first professional tackle late in Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos. He tackled Denver running back C.J. Anderson for a 1-yard loss with 3:46 left in the game.

The coaches also credited him with a QB pressure after watching the game film.

Charlton had no stats in the season-opening victory over the New York Giants, playing 26 defensive snaps. He played 33 defensive snaps against the Broncos.

“The first two games, you see certain things you would’ve done this or did that, you could’ve made that play,” Charlton said. “But it’s a long season. Things are going to happen. Plays just didn’t bounce my way or get run my way.

“So, like I said, go back to the drawing board, keep working on my moves, my technique and see what happens the rest of these games.”