The Dallas Cowboys finally made a positive splash in free agency last week when they signed free agent defensive tackle Henry Melton. The former Chicago Bear will fill the vital void left by Jason Hatcher, who signed with the Washington Redskins last week. Prior to the Melton signing, most draft analysts had determined the Cowboys would select a defensive tackle with their first round draft pick in April. Now that Melton is putting the “D” back in Dallas, is that still the case?
Melton wasn’t the only defensive tackle added to the roster since free agency started two weeks ago. Former Houston Texan Terrell McClain was also signed to the team to presumably add depth to the position and compete for the starting role opposite “Big Henry”. McClain joins last year’s starter Nick Hayden, the injured Ben Bass, and Frank Kearse on the depth chart at defensive tackle for Dallas.
With two new additions to the roster, do the Cowboys still have a pressing need at the position? According to executive vice president Stephen Jones, the team believes they can find defensive tackles who will fit perfectly within their system in the later rounds of the draft. This would seem to indicate this position would not be filled within the first three rounds of the draft unless that player’s talent sat atop their draft board when their number was called.
And the one rookie defensive tackle I believe the Cowboys would draft with their first round pick purely based on his talent and potential is Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald. Donald’s name has been linked to the team ever since his outstanding performances during Senior Bowl practices back in late January. And his stock rose to an all-time high when he dominated the NFL Scouting Combine last month. Now, many mock drafts have him gone even before Dallas’ first pick at #16. If Donald happens to fall to the Cowboys, I don’t think they would hesitate to pull the trigger on him, even with Melton on the roster.
But what do you think? Should the Cowboy still draft a defensive tackle first now that they’ve signed Henry Melton? Place your vote below and feel free to explain your pick in our comments section.
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