When you have a name like Taco Charlton, there’s no shortage of marketing ideas being thrown your way when talking tacos.
“I might have an endorsement coming soon so I’m not shouting out anybody until then,” Charlton joked after Tuesday’s minicamp practice.
However, possible endorsements deals aren’t the only thing the young defensive end has been working on this summer. The first-round pick out of Michigan spent his first minicamp going against arguably the best offensive line in football. It’s a learning experience when facing off against the likes of All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith when taking first-team snaps.
“You can tell already why he’s one of the best left tackles in the game and a Pro-Bowler,” said Charlton. “Going against everybody on the O-Line is definitely going to help improve your game.”
The 6-foot-6, 273-pound edge rusher has the tools necessary to bolster a defensive unit that could use the help. Defensive end David Irving is facing a four-game suspension for PED’s to start the season. Another defensive end, Charles Tapper, missed his rookie season with a back injury but is now ready to go. The youthful and speedy combination of Tapper and Charlton could be “sneaky good” for the Cowboys.
“Everybody on this defensive unit wants to be great,” said Charlton. “They are not just talking about it. You watch us practice; you see what it’s all about, how we are running after the ball, getting after it, everything like that. Everybody wants to be a great defense and we want to be that backbone of this team and do great things.”
Charlton has been working under the watchful eye of assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett, who may know a thing or two about defense. “Big Cat” was an All-Pro defensive lineman with the Cowboys’ Super Bowl teams in the 1990’s. Lett has been extremely helpful in the development of Charlton during minicamp because he had a similar body type to the rookie during his playing days.
“He knows how to use the long leverage so he can teach me first-hand what I can do to improve my game,” said Charlton. “It definitely helps when you are going out there and practicing with him.”
Next month, the Cowboys will put on the pads for training camp. Charlton can be a key piece for a young but revamped defensive unit when practice starts up in Oxnard, California.
“Right now I’m just helping to improve the team,” said Charlton.