The Dallas Cowboys finally moved forward in the post-DeMarcus Ware era with a signing that will bring some talent to the defensive line. Henry Melton signed a 1-year, $5 million dollar deal with an option to be brought back for another 3 seasons at $8 million.
The Cowboys were the team of choice for Texas-native Melton. Melton attended high school in Grapevine, Texas then attended college in Austin for Texas University. Melton was also a “Rod Marinelli” guy. He and Marinelli worked together while both were with the Chicago Bears.
Melton is a two-time Pro Bowler who is 27-years old, an attractive item for the Cowboys as the ‘boys had been aging throughout their roster. Releasing 31-year old Ware was done mainly to free up cap space but as many players about that age, their numbers start to decline shortly after they have hit their 30’s. Also allowing 1-year wonder Jason Hatcher go to the Bears was also a smart move by the Dallas front office. Melton will be a good addition as he will add his numbers to a line that aided in being last in the league last season. He has played 89 games with 66 tackles and 15.5 sacks in his career.
The Cowboys have also added some QB depth as they signed Brandon Weeden from the Cleveland Browns. Weeden signed an undisclosed 2-year contract after spending 2-seasons with the Browns. He was drafted with the first round pick in 2012. Weeden was released after having 20 starts, 23 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions. Weeden is currently the third-string quarterback on the roster. Weeden’s presence on the roster leaves Dallas room to not have to re-sign Kyle Orton after his contract expires this season.
Dallas still needs to address the defensive end position, a gaping hole left by Ware’s departure. Dallas brought in Minnesota Viking’s Jared Allen for a visit but the likelihood of is signing isn’t looking good. With cap money already disappearing as fast as they freed it up, Allen will not want a short-term, cheap deal. Allen would bring a presence to the team that would be needed to get Dallas out of the bottom of the barrel for the Cowboy defense.
Dallas will more than likely look at the NFL Draft to fill that need as the best of the free agent defensive ends would want more money than the Cowboys could afford. The Cowboys could look at Scott Crichton, Trent Murphy, Kareem Martin, Marcus Smith, or Jackson Jeffcoat as a replacement.
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