Taco Tuesday: Jerry Jones deflects blame for Cowboys’ maligned pick in 2017

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Sometimes it’s so bad that all you can do is laugh about it.

That’s what happened on Tuesday at the Star in Frisco during the Cowboys’ annual pre-draft press conference. While it’s traditionally a chance for the media members who cover the team to explore offseason issues and press for insight as to the team’s upcoming draft strategy, team owner Jerry Jones also seized an opportunity to jokingly deflect criticism for one of the organization’s most widely-panned personnel decisions.

The question was about working the phones leading up to draft day, whether the front office had been engaging in calls to either trade up or down rather than sit tight with the 24th overall pick.

“We always chum,” Jones said. “You’re always talking about possibilities for things. There’s nothing dangerous about thinking crazy things.”

Jones went on to talk at length about thinking unconventionally when it comes to the draft, when it comes to working trade offers, when it comes to juggling the roster, when it comes to being flexible with players as the draft unfolds in real time.

Four minutes later, Jones was still monologuing.

He had segued into an explanation of how the Cowboys war room works, how even the team’s scouts will occasionally pound the table for this guy or that guy, and how the final decision on drafting a prospect is finally reached.

That’s when Jones chose to get back the attention of the room with a zinger directed at his son Stephen, the team’s director of player personnel.

“There’s a lot of talk in this business about who makes the call, who actually makes the call,” Jones deadpanned. “Taco was Stephen’s call. Parsons was my call.”

It slayed.

Taco, of course, is Taco Charlton, the University of Michigan edge rusher who was the Cowboys’ first-round pick in 2017. The club, in desperate need of defensive help that year, famously bypassed linebacker T.J. Watt to instead select Charlton 28th overall.

Charlton lasted just two years in Dallas, recording 46 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, and one recovery. Still seen as a massive bust for the Cowboys, he has since bounced around for one season each with Kansas City, Miami, and Pittsburgh. He’s now under contract with the Saints.

Word of Jones’s joke apparently reached Charlton, who seemed to respond via Twitter with a reminder that he and his estimated $10.3 million in career earnings are getting by just fine.

Charlton was not a pick many thought would go to the Cowboys at the time. Neither was Micah Parsons, but for different reasons.

The Penn Stater has already worked out much better in Dallas; he had a transcendent rookie season and earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

It may have been a funny moment (to everyone but Stephen… and Charlton) meant to lighten the mood on Tuesday, but it will be no laughing matter if the Cowboys make another big-time blunder with this year’s first-round draft pick.

Less Taco, more Parsons.

List

Is LSU's Ed Ingram worth the risk for Cowboys to add to their OL?

List

10 Cowboys prop bets for the 2022 NFL draft

List

Would Wisconsin LB Leo Chenal fit in perfectly to Cowboys draft haul?