The Dallas Cowboys have a new-look defensive line this offseason after signing Jeremy Mincey and Henry Melton, losing Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware, and trading up for Demarcus Lawrence in the second round. It will be interesting to see if this new group can flourish under Rod Marinelli, and Melton seems to be the lynchpin of the line based on his past production. The Cowboys were able to sign him to a modest deal, thus making him one of the steals of the free-agent period when comparing cost to talent. However, it looks like there’s a huge reason why Melton came so cheap for the Cowboys, as he may not have been moving forward smoothly in his recovery when he was a free agent.
ESPN’s Louis Riddick reported this morning that Melton’s rehab from an early-season ACL tear was “behind schedule” before he signed with the Cowboys, and Riddick that it sounds “more and more” that this is indeed the case.
Melton won’t be able to get work in until training camp, so he’s on the shelf for OTAs. That matches the info Riddick has passed along for us, but it isn’t of concern unless if it becomes a problem in late July/early August. If Melton is still having hitches or showing a sharp decline, then there’s some cause for concern. The Cowboys don’t have too much invested in Melton financially due to his injury, but they have plenty invested in him when it comes to playing value; they need him to be as dominant as he was as an interior pass rusher in 2011 and 2012.