One name that has been whispered among the Cowboys faithful for months has been Henry Melton. It was never shouted because we never knew if the Cowboys were ever going to have enough money to play in free agency, but with the release of DeMarcus Ware (plus Miles Austin), the Cowboys can now get into the market if they choose. And all signs point to them pursuing Henry Melton. The former Chicago Bear comes with baggage, he's recovering from ACL surgery and has some law enforcement issues in his background, but that might be why the Cowboys can afford him. He obviously would fit perfectly as a 3-tech in the Cowboys scheme, having played the position under Rod Marinelli recently.
The club intends to work the edges of free agency and will try to compensate for Ware’s departure by signing two or three players in the defensive line. Sources confirm the Cowboys have expressed an interest in Denver Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers along with Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton.
Ayers' name has also surfaced recently, a defensive end who was with Denver. Ayers has been in the league for five years, all with Denver, but last season was statistically his best. He had 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
If the Cowboys did land Ayers, it may end up as a "swap" between the two teams. Because right now, Denver seems to be the overwhelming favorite to land DeMarcus Ware. He will visit them today, and Adam Schefter even tweets out this cryptic message:
One AFC West official who tried to get DeMarcus Ware to visit his city said he was told "you're not going to like where he winds up."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014
The Cowboys would probably love to get Jason Hatcher back, but he's got plenty of suitors right now, and they may think Melton is a better alternative, he is younger.
But Hatcher, who visited the world champion Seahawks on Tuesday, has four other visits lined up, a strong indication he will also be outside of the club’s price range.
One of those visits is next up with the Titans.
According to Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean, Cowboys free agent Jason Hatcher is scheduled to visit the Titans later this week after his early trip to Seattle. Other teams could be in the mix as well. Hatcher would have much more of a market but for age. The 31-year-old broke out last year with 11.0 sacks last year, after never having more than 4.5. That coincided with playing the under tackle spot in Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 defense, so it’s unclear how exactly he’d translate back to a 3-4, which Ray Horton’s installing in Tennessee.
Also, Phil Costa has had a few visits with other teams.
Former Dallas Cowboys veteran center Phil Costa visited the Detroit Lions today and the New England Patriots on Monday, according to a league source. Costa was cut by the Cowboys rather than accept a reduction in pay.
Finally, one guy that was mentioned in conjunction with the Cowboys was linebacker Wesley Woodyard. There has been no more mention as of now and he's visiting the Patriots.
And as @MikeReiss reports, Broncos free-agent LB Wesley Woodyard also is in New England. Patriots about to get busy.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014