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Stephen Jones: Chemistry Didn't Work With Taco


In releasing Taco Charlton on Wednesday, the defensive end became the first Cowboys player in the last 37 years to be released before the end of his third season.

Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones, the team's VP of player personnel, explained the move on Wednesday.

"Sometimes the chemistry doesn't work with a player," Jones said, citing Taco's difference of opinion with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. "With Rod, he has certain standards that he looks for in a player, I just don't think they ever saw eye to eye in terms of what that standard should be"

Charlton only got two weeks into the season and didn't even play a game in 2019, which only led to his own frustration that boiled over into social media. Charlton has expressed his disappointment in not playing and even asked the Cowboys to "Free me" in a tweet that was later deleted.

The Cowboys gave Charlton that freedom on Wednesday, cutting him to make room for defensive end Robert Quinn, who had been suspended for the first two games for a violation of the NFL's PED policy.

"With Quinn coming back, it put us in a numbers crunch," Jones said. "(We) just felt like he was the right guy to move on from. It'll be great to have Quinn back. If there's anything we want to get better in moving forward, it's that pass rush."

Still, Charlton was getting on the field even before Quinn's return. In the first two games, Charlton was inactive as the Cowboys decided to keep rookie Joe Jackson active for his ability to play both end and tackle.

Position flex might have got the best of Charlton at times, but he wasn't that productive as an end, getting just four sacks in his first two seasons, including only one last year.

Stephen Jones pointed out that players such as Devin Smith, Darian Thompson and Antwaun Woods have benefitted from getting a fresh start with the Cowboys. He's hoping Charlton will do the same with another team.

"I wish Taco nothing but the best and I think he'll be a productive player in this league," Jones said. "A change of scenery will probably do him some good. Sometimes that's what happens in the NFL. Hopefully that'll happen for Taco."