Word is official… the Dallas Cowboys have signed Henry Melton to a contract. The details have not been confirmed yet, but DallasCowboys.com insider Bryan Broaddus has said that it will be most likely be a one-year deal with the possibility of a team option for three years. There has been interest between both parties, but word is finally official that the Cowboys will sign the 27-year-old. Although he sat out much of the 2013 NFL season, it should be noted that Melton was a Pro Bowler in 2012 when Rod Marinelli was his defensive line coach with the Chicago Bears.
This marks the first major move for the Cowboys in free agency. After signing depth players like Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain, the Cowboys have finally went out and signed a bonafide star in Melton. Many will be concerned over the ACL injury he suffered early last season, but there is no doubt in my mind that Melton will have an instant impact on this team. In my honest opinion, I believe he will be a better 3-technique than Jason Hatcher was.
Hatcher will be 32 years old when the 2014 NFL season starts, and there are major concerns over Hatcher because he has really only had one successful NFL season. On the contrary, Melton is only 27 years old and he has plenty of gas left in the tank. By reuniting with Marinelli, I fully believe Melton can become one of the best defensive tackles in the entire NFL.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Thank you chicago for the best 5 years of my life!…. I can't wait to begin the next chapter of my life… With a star on my helmet.</p>— Henry Melton (@HenMel) <a href=”https://twitter.com/HenMel/statuses/446078091085873152″>March 19, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Melton made it official on his Twitter account Tuesday night. Melton grew up in the Dallas area, and the thought of playing for his hometown team was too convincing for him. He visited with the St. Louis Rams on Tuesday, but he was still talking with Dallas regarding a contract. This defensive line has taken a hit with the departures of Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware. Signing Melton gives the Cowboys and Cowboy fans a sigh of relief.
The Texas product had a physical during his visit at Valley Ranch, and it was said that he could have played in an NFL game a couple of months ago. In Dallas’ 4-3, Melton will be the 3-technique. This position is supposed to get after the quarterback and stop the run. He will also have to be a three-down player for the Cowboys. With Ben Bass slated to start next to him, it is vital that Melton gets a ton of pressure on the quarterback and clog the middle as well.
If the Cowboys can add a guy like Jared Allen to pair next to Melton, I would consider this free agency a success for the Cowboys. As of now, the Cowboys’ defensive line consists of Mincey, Melton, Bass, and George Selvie. While this isn’t particularly good, it’s not bad either. Signing Melton was a logical move, and it didn’t put that big of a damper on Jerry Jones‘ wallet. Both sides will be getting a great deal out of this, and Cowboy fans should be happy to hear that Melton will be wearing a star on his helmet in 2014.