Realistic Expectations For Every Dallas Cowboys Rookie

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Any time a player is a first-round pick in Dallas, the expectations are always going to be a little higher among the fanbase.

In the case of 2017 first-round pick Taco Charlton, many are expecting him to come in and "fix" the Cowboys' pass rush or at least become the team's best edge rusher as a rookie. That is not fair to him nor the Cowboys. So what is fair and what should we expect from the 6'6", 270-pound pass rusher from Michigan?

Not as much as you would think. 

However, it is fair to expect that Charlton will start in Week 1. Every single Cowboys' first-round pick from 2010 to 2016 has started on opening day for the team. But what position Charlton will start at is another story. Most likely it will be at right defensive end, but that could quickly change if Demarcus Lawrence is healthy or if the team feels that Charlton is a better fit at left defensive end. 

As for his statistical expectations, four sacks would be where I would set the over/under for Charlton. Typically, rookies don't produce much in their first season, especially rookies who are drafted at the end of the first round. Where I do expect Charlton to perform better is against the run. His size and length should allow him to become a solid run defender right away. 

While the Cowboys rotate their defensive linemen very frequently, it wouldn't be a shock if Charlton led the defensive ends in snaps in 2017. I expect Charlton to play early and often. However, I don't expect him to become a dominant edge rusher, but instead, another key cog in Rod Marinelli's group of "rushmen." 

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