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Cowboys' Huge Draft Whiff Finds New NFL Home

Former No. 28 overall pick Taco Charlton is with his fourth team in five seasons

The Dallas Cowboys have suffered their fair share of whiffs in the NFL Draft recently, but no bigger swing-and-miss than in 2017 selecting defensive end Taco Charlton ahead of the NFL's newly minted highest-paid defensive player, T.J. Watt.

In part because of an injury to the Pittsburgh Steelers' star pass-rusher, Charlton has his next lifeline. After being released by the Cowboys, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs, the defensive end was signed Tuesday to the Steelers' practice squad.

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Watt left last week's loss to the Las Vegas Raiders with a strained groin, and defensive linemen Tyson Alualu suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Fellow lineman Stephon Tuitt is on Pittsburgh's injured reserve with a knee injury, forcing the Steelers to look for emergency reinforcements in the name of Charlton.

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Drafted 28th overall by Dallas in 2017 but released after the 2018 season, Charlton was cut by in August by the Chiefs. Watt (drafted 30th by Pittsburgh) recently signed a four-year, $112 million contract extension as a reward for leading the league in sacks and being named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2020.

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We know, 28 other teams passed on Watt in that 2017 draft. But the Cowboys were targeting a pass-rusher, only two spots ahead of where the Steelers nabbed the game’s best at that position.

Charlton recorded four sacks in two seasons with the Cowboys.

In his 44-game career, Charlton has 11 sacks. Watt has played 64 games, recording 52.5 sacks.