Former first-round pick Taco Charlton can’t find the field with Cowboys

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The Cowboys continue to insist they are not disappointed in defensive end Taco Charlton. But how can they not be?

He was a first-round pick in 2017. He has four career sacks. He was a healthy scratch Sunday.

“Well, I think it speaks to our depth,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Sunday. “I think it speaks to the talent level, and I think it speaks to the guys who did dress out, how they have earned that first game start. I think it’s more about the positive part of it than it is anything negative. I’m confident that . . . Charlton can line up out there with the starting group and play and play well.”

But Charlton hasn’t shown that yet, and his time with the Cowboys could be running out. It would not come as a surprise if the Cowboys traded him before the trade deadline, perhaps for a safety.

Charlton made three tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery in 19 snaps in the third preseason game. It was not enough for him to dress in the season opener.

“He’s just competing,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s competing for an opportunity to get a jersey on Sunday. That’s what we ask from our guys. You try to build a roster that’s competitive, so you’re competing to make the roster, make the 46 and then you compete for playing time. So he’s just in that mix right now.”

It would be one thing if Charlton weren’t a first-round draft pick. But he was, and Charlton has not lived up to expectations, which is why the Cowboys could move on if they can get something of value for him.

“The biggest thing we try to do is, it doesn’t matter where you came from; it just matters what you do,” Garrett said. “And so, you know, we’re going to try to play the best guys. We’re going to give everybody an opportunity to show that they can play and have a role, and choose the best one. The guys are going to help us be the best football team. Again, it doesn’t really matter where you come from, it’s just what you’re doing for us right now and how you can help us.”