Cowboys DE Charlton wants team to release him

FRISCO, Texas -- Inactive for the first two games, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton took to social media Monday with a plea to the team: Free me.

After tweeting that message, the post was deleted, but he did follow up with this:

The Cowboys have had trade discussions for Charlton, a first-round pick in 2017, but nothing that has gotten close to fruition, according to a source. Charlton is guaranteed his $1.376 million base salary this season and $458,000 of his base salary next season.

"We are not getting into that at all in any way," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said after Sunday's win against the Washington Redskins. "I know there is some discussion. We don't get into that."

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, asked Monday about Charlton's current role on the team, said the linebacker is "just competing for a spot to get a jersey each week, like a lot of guys on our team.

"What we're doing to try to do is play the best guys and the guys who give us the best chance to win. And they have to earn those opportunities in practice each week."

The Cowboys welcomed back defensive end Robert Quinn from a two-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. They will have an exemption for Quinn through Wednesday, but then would have to make a spot for him on the 53-man roster.

Charlton could be among the candidates to be moved; however, the Cowboys are not sure of the availability of defensive end Tyrone Crawford, who aggravated a hip injury against Washington, or defensive tackle Antwaun Woods.

The 28th overall pick in 2017, Charlton has four sacks in 22 games (seven starts) but has not found a consistent role in the rotation used by defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. Charlton missed three games last year because of a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery, and he also had ankle surgery.

After a slow start to camp, he had two sacks in the preseason.

Going back to the 2018 regular season, he has been a healthy scratch in four of the last six games.