Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Success Of 2014 Season Decided In Next 48 Hours?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Does the Cowboys ability to field a competitive defense in 2014 come down to their ability to sign any combination of Henry Melton, Jared Allen, and Anthony Spencer?

Why next 48 hours are essential to Cowboys fielding competitive defense next season | David Moore, DMN
During a segment for SportsDay on Air on Fox Sports Southwest, David Moore made the point that the success of the 2014 season could hinge on the contract negotiations currently happening at Valley Ranch.

If Henry Melton doesn’t sign, I really do believe the Cowboys are desperate in the defensive line because they will feel they can’t address all of their needs solely in the draft. So if Melton doesn’t sign, then they’re in the position of, ‘Are we going to have to pay Jared Allen, who’s visiting here on Tuesday, are we going to have to pay him the money we would not give DeMarcus Ware and reverse basically the financial stance we took last week because we have to get some talent in this defensive line'.

So how this plays out over the next 48 hours with Melton and Jared Allen in my mind is essential for the Cowboys’ ability to field a competitive defense this coming season.

Cowboys' visits ongoing with Melton, Allen - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
As of late last night, the Cowboys had not reached a deal with Melton yet, though the good news is that sources indicated Melton's surgically repaired left knee checked out fine. Jared Allen also flew into Dallas last night and was wined and dined by the Cowboys before his official visit starts today.

Cowboys Corner: Henry Melton still at Valley Ranch, but several teams remain in hunt for his services - Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
Several teams remain in the hunt for Melton's services writes Williams. He has had visits with the Vikings, Seahawks and Cowboys so far, but the Bears, Rams and Raiders also remain interested.

Keeping Spencer Should Be Higher Priority - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com
Eatman makes an impassioned plea for the Cowboys to keep Anthony Spencer in the fold.

But if there’s a way to keep Spencer in the mix, the Cowboys should do it.

The last time Spencer was healthy, he made more clutch plays than any defensive player we’ve seen in several years, and that includes Ware. Spencer was the guy toward the end of 2012 making fourth-quarter sacks and forcing fumbles and recovering them.

Obviously, Spencer and his agent are going to want a contract that resembles the player making those plays. The Cowboys are going to want a contract for a guy coming off microfracture surgery.

And therein lies the rub.

Cowboys still interested in Anthony Spencer - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys are still interested in working out a deal with Spencer, Watkins types.

Is Anthony Spencer Heading Back To Dallas? - Blogging The Boys
While all the attention is on Henry Melton, Jared Allen and recently signed Brandon Weeden, Anthony Spencer is the one free agent the Cowboys might be able to get that they already know very well.

Brandon Weeden offers some protection at the least - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Todd Archer takes Cowboys commenters and fans to take in an opening salvo the likes of which we don't often see:

Most of the reactions to the Dallas Cowboys signing quarterback Brandon Weeden have been sarcastic, mean and vulgar, which is fine, although on a public forum you would expect more people to have some decorum.

Archer goes on to argue that signing Weeden is a low-cost, low-risk move that nets the Cowboys a former first-round QB who had the misfortune of being drafted by the Browns. And with a cap hit of just $75,000, Weeden effectively costs the Cowboys nothing more than a roster spot.

In a similar vein but in a different context, Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News noted that if the Patriots had signed Brandon Weeden to that deal, it would have been hailed as a smart move. But since the Cowboys did it, it will be billed as a huge mistake.

Ravens talked with Brandon Weeden before he signed with Cowboys, source says - Baltimoresun.com
Aaron Wilson reports that the Ravens held discussions with Brandon Weeden prior to him joining the Cowboys, as did the Bengals.

Loss of Jason Hatcher could lead to pick in 2015 - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer points out that the Cowboys could end up receiving a compensatory pick for Hatcher in 2015, depending on how free agency plays out this year. For that to happen though, the Cowboys will have to lose more compensatory free agents than they will sign by June this year. And players like Ware, Austin, and Costa, all of whom the Cowboys cut, unfortunately don't count against that quota.

Cincinnati Bengals Hosting Free Agent Defensive End Robert Ayers - Cincy Jungle
The Cincinnati Bengals will almost certainly be adding a defensive end in free agency or the NFL Draft this offseason. And one option could be Robert Ayers, who is visiting the Bengals tomorrow. He may also swing by Dallas at some point, as both the Cowboys and Giants have expressed interest in Ayers. Pro Football Focus gave him a +8.1 grade in 2013, and he was their 14th-ranked DE last year.

DeMarcus Ware Thanks Jones, Cowboys on Twitter
Classy to the very end, here's DeMarcus Ware with a personal message for you:

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