In every draft, every team has a regret (or two or three).
Some are bigger than others. Some are harder to explain than others.
Take the 2017 draft. Everyone knew the Cowboys would take a pass rusher after Benson Mayowa led them with six sacks in 2016. It was just a matter of which one.
It seems like a no-brainer now, but the Cowboys selected Charlton and the Steelers chose Watt two picks later.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones admitted regret Friday.
“Absolutely,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “You always do that, if you’re truthful and you’re honest – what you might could have had.”
Watt has 41 career sacks, including 6.5 this season, and earned All-Pro honors last year. Charlton lasted only two seasons in Dallas, spent time in Miami and now plays in Kansas City. He has 11 career sacks, including two this season for the Chiefs.
Jones confirmed what long has been intimated in Dallas: Then defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli wanted Charlton.
Mike Nolan replaced Marinelli as defensive coordinator this season, with Marinelli now in Las Vegas as the Raiders’ defensive line coach. The Cowboys have switched from the Tampa Two to a more multiple scheme.
Watt would fit perfectly. (Of course, Watt would fit any team in any scheme.)
“The harder part of that is [Watt] was in serious contention [at No. 28],” Jones said. “I think the biggest issue was we were playing a 4-3 there with Rod, and Rod was concerned about how he’d hold up against the run in the 4-3. [He] didn’t have that same concern with Taco. Obviously, if you had that to do all over again, I wish we would have done that, and, of course, he would fit in probably better in some of the things we’re trying to do now with coach Nolan and our defense. So, you know, he’s obviously a great player. He’s already on his way to a great career, not unlike his brother, and congratulate the Steelers for getting him.”