Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (69) and defensive end Brian Robison (96) during the first quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Could Afford Both Jared Allen And Henry Melton

On Tuesday night, free agent defensive tackle Henry Melton agreed to a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys. It is uncertain how much Melton will cost the team, but it’s estimated to be more than what Dallas currently has available in salary cap space. That still didn’t stop the team from agreeing to the deal. And if free agent defensive end Jared Allen decides to follow in Melton’s boot-steps, the cap apparently will not stop that signing either.

According to, the Cowboys currently have $7.6 million in salary cap space. And’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that Dallas does not currently have the money available to sign Melton, let alone Allen.  But David Moore of the Dallas Morning News doesn’t think that’s going to be an issue:

“A popular theory floating around is that the Cowboys don’t have the money to sign both players. That’s not true. The team had a little over $7 million in cap room before its deal with Melton. If they needed slightly more room and didn’t want to push too much money down the road, the club could restructure the contracts of a current player or two to sign Allen.”

The Cowboys restructured quarterback Tony Romo, linebacker Sean Lee and cornerback Orlando Scandrick’s contracts already this offseason in order to meet the league’s required cap limit by March 11th. It is widely known that the team puts restructuring language into all of their player contracts for this very reason. But it’s a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

More restructuring means more bloated contracts, and more awkward situations like the one involving former Cowboy defensive end DeMarcus Ware. The franchise’s all-time sack leader’s statistical numbers decreased last season…as his age, injuries and salary all increased. Scheduled to make $26 million within the next two years, Dallas bit the bullet and released the veteran last week.

The question is: Is the soon-to-be 32-year old Allen worth the future financial sacrifice? He did average 15 sacks per season the last three years. But do the Cowboys think Allen can maintain that high level of production at his current age? He left Dallas on Tuesday to he’d back home to Minnesota in order to consult his wife on what his next step will be. If Allen decides that the Cowboys are his next team, money won’t be as big of an issue as we might have thought. Not until further down the line, anyway.

But the signing of Allen would seem to indicate a mental shift from last week’s decisions to move past aging stars Ware and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher. Both of whom are younger than Jared. But if Allen is willing to budge on the financials, unlike Ware and Hatcher, I could see Dallas making that deal.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Henry Melton Jared Allen

  • Draftmane

    Allen is Coming Hatas gone Hate!

  • MercWithaMouth

    The difference between Ware and Allen is that Allen excelled as a DE in the 4-3 while Ware excelled as an OLB in a 3-4, both have very similar stat lines throughout their careers and have been difference makers for their respective teams. That being said, for a similar price or maybe even a little less, I would gladly swap Ware for Allen simply because why spend that kind of cash on a guy who hasn’t played DE in the NFL since he arrived and bet on him making the swap when you could have a guy who has proven production at that position for a similar price tag? Y’all may think its going the “wrong way” by dropping Ware and signing Allen(if they do), but in my eyes and from a scheme standpoint it makes perfect sense….

    • Earl Robertson

      Yep u r right wish Allen would agree to play for a cheap price but I highly doubt that would happen

  • PaulATX

    I think this means we no longer need to worry about drafting Aaron Donald or Timmy Jernigan. I think Jerry will try to trade back again because it worked for him last year. Dee Ford, Stephon Tuitt and Scott Crichton should be available in the late first round or second round, maybe even Ealy. What I would be concerned with more than the DL, is replacing Free, who we can get about 7mil on if we cut next year. I like Cyrus Kouandijo to replace Free. I also see value in Cyril Richardson, OG, from Baylor. I think the two OL additions will make a big difference in the passing game in 2015. I see some late round value in Dri Archer a burner WR from Kent State; investing in Casey Pachall a QB who had some off field issues, but a Tom Brady-esque release and arm strength; also some raw talent in Ethan Westbrooks, DE, West Texas A&M. Westbrook seems like a loose cannon, but could develop nicely under Marinelli.

    • PaulATX

      Forgot to mention Allen. I think that until we sweat off the dead money from Ware, Ratliff, and Marcus Spears (ya, still hurts), we should stay away from giving big contracts; especially to older players. We may have to have a down year to fix the cap situation. This season we can draft well and find hidden value in mid-range free agents.