Cowboys agree with former Bears DT Melton

Updated: March 18, 2014, 10:02 PM ET

Todd Archer |

IRVING, Texas — Having lost Jason Hatcher to the Washington Redskins last week, the Dallas Cowboys have reached an agreement with Henry Melton, reuniting the defensive tackle with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who coached him for three years with the Chicago Bears.

“I’m excited to come back home and work with Rod and get back to my Pro Bowl form,” Melton told ESPNDallas from St. Louis where he was visiting on Tuesday. “It’s a great group of guys there and I’ve talked to them the last few days.”
The deal is for one year with an multiyear option, according to a source.
Melton played in only three games last season with the Bears before suffering a torn left anterior cruciate ligament against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Melton received the franchise designation in 2013, which paid out $8.45 million.
Melton visited with the Cowboys on Monday but was with the St. Louis Rams on Tuesday. He also visited with the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks as well.
“Every team I visited, everything checked out and everything looked good,” Melton said on whether teams were concerned about his knee.
Melton was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012, and has posted 15.5 career sacks and 71 tackles, including nine stops for lost yardage.

Hatcher led the Cowboys in sacks in 2013 with 11, but signed a four-year, $27.5 million deal with the Redskins. His departure cranked up the Cowboys’ need for a three-technique.
Melton is the third defensive linemen the Cowboys have added in free agency, joining Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain.
Bears general manager Phil Emery expressed a desire to re-sign Melton for 2014, but also voiced concern about the defensive tackle’s commitment to football. As Melton worked through the rehabilitation process, he was arrested in December for assault and public intoxication, stemming from an altercation with a bartender in his hometown of Grapevine, Texas. Bears reporter Michael C. Wright and Calvin Watkins of contributed to this report.

Covered NFL since 1997, Cowboys since 2003
Previously covered Bengals and Dolphins
Lives in Dallas area with his wife and two children

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