MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 29: Jared Allen #69 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on before the game against the Detroit Lions on December 29, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
No worse for the Ware?
The Cowboys last week cut ties with defensive end and all-time sacks leader DeMarcus Ware. That came on the heels of Jason Hatcher bolting to the Redskins. Jay Ratliff was cut last season. And Anthony Spencer is a free agent who also visited Washington and the Giants over the weekend. Those four, of course, were supposed to be your starting four lineman entering the 2013 season. Now, there’s a good chance they’ll all be ex-Cowboys in 2014.
But somebody’s gotta stop the run. And as overachieving as guys like Nick Hayden and George Selvie were last season, they need help. Lots and lots of help.
The Cowboys have already signed Jeremy Mincey and Terell McClain, and are now turning their attention to more familiar names. Jared Allen and Henry Melton ring any bells?
Allen is the Ware of the Minnesota Vikings. The 31-year-old is one of the best linemen in their history, a 5-time Pro Bowl pass-rusher who eventually priced himself out of a job. But unlike Ware last year he showed no signs of slowing down, producing 11.5 sacks and six tackles for loss.
Allen, who was born in Dallas and will visit Valley Ranch on Tuesday, isn’t necessarily better or more dominant than Ware, but at this point he certainly would come cheaper. No way around it, the Cowboys view him as a more affordable replacement for Ware.
And the search to replace Hatcher is turning to Melton, who will be at Valley Ranch later this afternoon. He played running back at Grapevine High School and for the 2005 National Champion Texas Longhorns in college, but became a Pro Bowl defensive tackle with the Bears before tearing his ACL last season and playing in only three games.
Both players visited the Seattle Seahawks over the weekend as well.
The additions of Allen and Melton won’t necessarily make us forget Ware and Hatcher. But if the Cowboys need cheap, serviceable knock-offs, they’re looking in the right direction.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.