FRISCO, Texas – It's been two weeks now since Taco Charlton went missing in action.
After playing a measly four snaps on Nov. 29 against New Orleans, the Cowboys' second-year defensive end has been a healthy scratch for each of the last two games. In the interest of fostering competition, the former first-round pick didn't dress out for the overtime win against Philadelphia or the loss to Indianapolis.
"Going into that game, we thought we were playing well enough, getting the penetration that we needed with the group that we put out there," said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones on Tuesday.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has said as much in recent weeks. He was asked again about Charlton's availability on Monday, and he said he was hoping to see some competition along the defensive line this week heading into the game against Tampa Bay.
Charlton missed three games after suffering a shoulder injury against Tennessee on Nov. 5, and Garrett was hopeful he can continue to rebound from that setback.
"He was coming off that shoulder injury that he dealt with for a few weeks," Garrett said. "Just getting back into practice and showing he's worthy of one of the eight to who gets a jersey. Hopefully, he'll compete the right way this week and we'll see how that all plays out."
Of course, sitting a first-round pick is one thing when the team is winning. The Cowboys didn't need Charlton to notch two sacks each against both Drew Brees and Carson Wentz. But after failing two record a sack on Andrew Luck, perhaps the Cowboys will consider switching up their personnel.
To hear it from Jones, they just might.
"When you have games or a game like that, then Taco, you start looking over your shoulder and saying, 'Well, maybe we ought to get him in there,'" he said.