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Training Camp Profile: Taco Charlton

After months of waiting for the Dallas Cowboys to return to the field, the time has finally come. Training Camp is officially upon us with the team’s arrival in Oxnard, California. With camp returning, Dallas Sports Fanatic will be providing profiles on players who expect to make an impact on the 2018-2019 Dallas Cowboys’ chase for the Lombardi Trophy that will hopefully culminate in Atlanta, Georgia.

With the re-instatement of Randy Gregory, the defensive line meeting room could be a bit crowded for the upcoming season. The main focus for this particular profile is on last year’s first round pick Taco Charlton. Charlton was the target of criticism quite often during his rookie season, some felt he wasn’t worthy of a first round selection. It wasn’t until the Cowboys’ game against the Chiefs in November that Charlton recorded his first career sack. Over the final eight games he was able to bring the quarterback down two more times.

Starting a career with three sacks in your rookie campaign isn’t something to get too excited about but it was progress. Looking at every defensive end who was drafted in the first round since 2000 shows that performance was slightly below average. The rookie pass rushers averaged 4.6 sacks per season. That number rose with performances of Joey Bosa (10.5) and Brian Orakpo (11) among others. There will always be outliers but with rookie pass rushers there is a learning curve.

The second year of their career there was a slight jump from their rookie seasons and one should expect Taco Charlton to make a similar jump in performance. On average rookies increased their pass rush productivity by 23 percent. Charlton should have four sacks this next season. Not a huge jump but that shows progress.

The return of Randy Gregory, DeMarcus Lawrence coming off a career year and the depth at defensive end could help Taco Charlton to take his game to the next level and have the production many expected when the Dallas Cowboys made him the first round selection in 2017.

The Dallas Cowboys Editor for Dallas Sports Fanatic, Host of the Cowboys Fanatic Podcast and also covers the Cowboys for @WFAASports.

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