When the Dallas Cowboys lost the team’s all-time leading sack specialist DeMarcus Ware and their 2013 sack leader Jason Hatcher, it opened up two glaring holes on the defensive line. There are now two players that could perfectly fill those gaps if the price is right. ESPN reported on March 14 that Dallas is considering Julius Peppers and Henry Melton.
Melton has been on the Cowboys’ radar since free agency kicked off, thanks to him being a quality player under Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli two years ago. However, Peppers is a new name on the list and another than Marinelli could be instrumental in bringing in.
Rod Marinelli coached both Henry Melton and Julius Peppers when they played for the Chicago Bears.
Melton is coming off ACL surgery but was an All-Pro under Marinelli before the injury. Peppers has been one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL since breaking into the NFL with the Carolina Panthers. Peppers, much like DeMarcus Ware, was a salary cap cut. He was scheduled to make $13.9 million with Chicago.
Dallas still has around $7 million left to spend, but Melton is coming off an injury and Peppers is 34 years old. Dallas will have to make sure there are protections built in before unloading the bank on the two players.