The Dallas Cowboys have been big losers in free agency through the first week of signings. They've watched Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware leave while also losing defensive end Antony Spencer, whom the team had previously placed the franchise tag on.
They've finally made a quality signing, and it's in the former of former Chicago bears DT Henry Melton:
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.— Henry Melton (@HenMel) March 19, 2014
Cowboys examined DT Henry Melton's surgically-repaired left ACL and believe he will be ready for training camp as agent Jordan Woy has said.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) March 19, 2014
Melton was arguably the best free agent still available, but also one of the riskier players still on the market. Melton’s season was cut short last year when he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament and had to have surgery. However, Melton’s left knee checked out fine with Cowboys doctors, and the team wasted little time in getting him signed during his visit with the team on Monday.
A big reason the Boys were able to land Melton was new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. He previously coached Melton with the Chicago Bears, and helped him go to his first Pro Bowl in 2012.
That led to the Bears placing the franchise tag on Melton in 2013, but the ACL tear ruined his hopes of getting a long-term deal that paid him like one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL.