With Rod Marinelli becoming the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, there have been rumors about a reunion with Henry Melton. In case you didn’t already know, Marinelli is very familiar with Melton as the two worked together in Chicago in 2012. In fact, Melton had his best season in 2012, which earned him a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. Melton would be a perfect fit for Dallas as the Cowboys need to upgrade their play at the defensive tackle position. The best part about this whole process is that the interest is mutual. Melton grew up a Cowboys fan, and he went to Texas for college football.
Before his ACL injury early in the 2013 season, Melton was on his way to becoming one of the best defensive tackles in the game. Given his size, Melton is a perfect fit to play as a defensive tackle in the 4-3. At 6’3″, 295 pounds, Melton is undersized. But that size is valued in a 40 front. The best trait for a 4-3 defensive tackle is a quick burst off the ball. That is a trait Melton has, and he is one of the best in the league at it. Melton would fit extremely well as a defensive tackle for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys would designate Austin as a June 1st cut, meaning they would get more cap relief. By doing that, the Cowboys will have enough money to go after one major free agent. That free agent could very well be Melton. It is no secret that the Cowboys are looking for a defensive tackle. I have mocked Aaron Donald numerous times to Dallas in almost all of my mock drafts. If the Cowboys sign Melton, I see Dallas going after a free safety in the first round. Regardless, Donald and Melton would make an impact in Dallas. The Cowboys aren’t likely to re-sign Jason Hatcher or Anthony Spencer. Because of that, upgrades across the defensive line are extremely needed. Dallas could also draft Kony Ealy in the first round if they sign Melton in free agency.
If Dallas signs Melton, I don’t see them releasing DeMarcus Ware. It was reported today that the Cowboys want Ware to take a pay cut.
I still believe that the Cowboys should bring back Ware for another season in the 4-3 scheme. He has been injured the past few seasons, and he has done too much for this franchise to be cut two subpar seasons. At the same time, the NFL is a business, and Ware should accept a pay cut. Ware will have $16 million cap hit in 2014. That number needs to be cut in half. Dallas has a ton of decisions to make this offseason. Regardless of what they do, retooling their defensive line is needed. By signing Melton, Dallas could upgrade the safety position or they could draft a player to play across from Ware. The defensive line is the piston that makes the 4-3 work. A good pass rush can make a bad secondary better. The Cowboys need to focus on improving in the trenches. Signing Melton would be a step in the right direction.