Charles Tapper sees speed as an element his presence would give the Dallas Cowboys pass rush.
The fourth-round pick for Dallas in 2016 has yet to see the field because of a pars defect in his back.
“I bring some speed, but I also bring a lot of power that people don’t know about,” Tapper said Sunday at the National Fantasy Football Convention in Dallas. “At OU, I showed a lot of power playing at 290 [pounds] and also my speed.”
Tapper, who racked up up 10 tackles for loss and 7 sacks in his senior season with the Sooners, also has been focusing on special teams as an area to contribute to the Cowboys.
Said Tapper: “I can’t wait to go out there and showcase the speed that I have and show the versatility that I have a pass rusher and on special teams going up and down the field trying to make big hits.”
In the hiatus between minicamp and training camp, the 24-year-old from Baltimore, Md., has spent his time simply running and also engaging in defensive line drills.
“Coaches said you can lift all you want and go out there and try to make up some workouts,” said Tapper. “But running and doing football drills are the most important thing.”
The Cowboys will need the best Tapper and his teammates can offer. For the first four games, they will be without defensive end David Irving, who will serve a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Dallas also will have to find new forces in the trenches as Jack Crawford and Terrell McClain left in free agency for Atlanta and Washington, respectively.
“We get held to a higher standard because of last year,” Tapper explained. “We’re trying to chase those guys that we’ll miss in Terrell McClain and Jack Crawford, two guys that were high energy but they brought so much that it was unreal. We’re trying to chase those guys and get back to it.”