There are obviously going to be changes with the Chicago Bears now that they have a new head coach, and the Dallas Cowboys are hoping that these might cause pro-bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton to choose free agency, and eventually playing for them.
Melton, 26, has been with the Bears since 2009 and made the pro bowl for the first time this season. He vastly improved under Rod Marinelli during his time as lines coach and defensive coordinator with the Bears. Marinelli will be the Dallas Cowboys’ new defensive line coach, and there’s a good chance that his familiarity with Melton and the system in Dallas which is something Melton knows and is used to be playing in might convince him to choose free agency.
The Cowboys were mighty impressed with Melton during his visit to Cowboys Stadium this season; a 34-18 win by the Bears in which Melton recorded a sack and two tackles, completely annihilating the offensive line in front of him. He finished the year with six sacks, recording 13 over the last couple of seasons, his first as a starter, coming a long way from a 105th draft pick to one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL after not playing a single down on his rookie year.
Melton would like to stay in Chicago, but he has also met with Bears officials during the season regarding his contract, and nothing was achieved in those talks. Mel Tucker, the new defensive coordiantor for the Bears, uses the Tampa 2 defense, something Lovie Smith also used during his tenure with the Bears, which might help Melton remain in Chicago, in a system he is used to and operates well in.
One of the problems for the Cowboys heading into this offseason is their cap space, and the need to resign Anthony Spencer. The Cowboys will be going back to a 4-3 defensive formation, which means Spencer will have to change into a defensive end instead of an outside linebacker. The Cowboys are hoping they’ll have enough money to sign both, but that’s less of a on-field issue; more of a financial question and setting their priorities straight. Spencer recorded 11 sacks in 2012, but is three years older than Melton.