With the Dallas Cowboys defense being one of the worst in NFL history in 2013, we all knew that changes were coming on that side of the ball. For the Cowboys to really start revamping their defense, they had to restructure contracts to get under the salary cap by March 11th, which they did.
They also had to make a tough decision in releasing DeMarcus Ware, who spent nine years with the team, and is the Cowboys all-time leader in sacks with 117 and in forced fumbles with 32. Jason Hatcher was the main bright spot for the defense last season with 11 sacks and he made his first Pro Bowl. But he signed a four-year $27.5 million dollar deal with the arch-rival Washington Redskins, which wasn't surprising since Hatcher was pretty much going to go to the highest bidder.
With Ware and Hatcher gone, the Cowboys have been looking to upgrade the defensive line and get younger in the process. They did just that in signing former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton, who was their best defensive lineman for the past couple of seasons.
Melton however, is coming off a disappointing 2013 season that ended three games in with a torn ACL. Despite that, he was a must get for the Cowboys. He's a great addition for the Cowboys because in a cover 2 defense, you need that defensive tackle that can be disruptive, do the dirty work, and dominate a game and that's what Melton brings to the table.
Not only that, but when he made the Pro Bowl for the Chicago Bears in 2012, Rod Marinelli, who is now the Cowboys defensive coordinator, was the defensive line coach there, and he definitely got the most out of Melton during his tenure there. Melton had 32 tackles, 6 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles that year.
Those numbers aren't going to "wow" people, but his impact on the field will. He has the ability to get 12 to 15 sacks per season and help the Cowboys defense be respectable again. Plus Henry Melton is back home in Texas with friends and family and after how last season ended for him, expect a more motivated Melton as he returns to Pro Bowl form in 2014.