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Falcons Ex Jalen Dalton Claimed by Panthers After Being Waived by Atlanta

The Atlanta Falcons waived the defensive lineman on Wednesday, and he found a new home in the NFC South.
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The Atlanta Falcons parted ways with DT Jalen Dalton earlier this week, and the Carolina Panthers claimed the North Carolina product less than 72 hours later to keep him in the NFC South.

At 25 years old, Dalton has played in only one NFL season, making his debut with the Falcons in Week 8 against the Panthers. He spent 2019-2021 battling injuries and attempting to find footing in the league despite menial numbers at the collegiate level.

At North Carolina, Dalton totaled 92 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks over the course of his four-year career. In that span, he played in 37 games, averaging less than 10 games per season and only playing a full campaign in 2016. 

Dalton was signed by Atlanta in October, but played just seven games and totaled only 13 tackles due to a toe injury he suffered against Chicago in Week 11. During his brief showcase last season, Dalton showed some improvements.

"He's gotten better," head coach Arthur Smith said in late November. "Unfortunately, he was hurt in a couple preseasons. Knew a lot about him when he was a North Carolina guy. He's taken advantage of the opportunity, unfortunately got hurt in our preseason, came back. First time he's seen live action and he's getting better every week."

Should Dalton make the 53-man roster out of training camp, he'll get to face his former Falcons team in Week 1 on Sept. 10.

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