Dallas Cowboys

Is Taco Charlton’s strong preseason changing perception with Dallas Cowboys’ brass?

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett praises Taco Charlton

After the Cowboys' 34-0 win over the Houston Texans in the preseason, coach Jason Garrett praises defensive end Taco Charlton.
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After the Cowboys' 34-0 win over the Houston Texans in the preseason, coach Jason Garrett praises defensive end Taco Charlton.

The Dallas Cowboys had big expectations for Taco Charlton two years ago when the defensive end was their first-round draft pick.

Those high expectations are at an all-time high going into the 2019 season after another highlight-filled performance Saturday against the Houston Texans.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said Charlton has continued to improve after recording two sacks and forcing and recovering a fumble Saturday night.

“I think he’s going up. He’s been working hard at it,” Marinelli said. “He’s showing up in each game a little bit. He’s been doing a good, solid job.

Charlton is quick to downplay his progress, but it’s no secret the team wants to see more production from Charlton this season.

“I haven’t done nothing. I still have a lot of work to do, a lot of stuff to prove so this ain’t nothing to me,” said Charlton, who left Saturday’s preseason game with an ankle injury. He had an MRI on Sunday but his status has yet to be revealed. It’s unlikely he’ll play Thursday considering the injury, but Charlton doesn’t mind.

“I’m willing and ready to play whenever. Just happy to be out here with my boys and happy to play the game I love to play,” he said.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he’s proud of Charlton. “He’s come a long way,” Jones said. The Cowboys, Jones said, want to keep seeing Charlton adding to his repertoire.

“We just want him and he just wants to have a bigger repertoire. If he’ll add to his repertoire, which he is trying to do, then you can imagine if he adds a couple of those things,” he said. “He’s outstanding.”

Linebacker Jaylon Smith isn’t surprised by Charlton’s improvement.

“People forget we drafted him in the first round for a reason,” he said. “Jerry and Stephen [Jones], along with the staff, they do a great job of drafting players because they have a great eye. I believe in Taco so much.”

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.
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