- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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There isn’t a rush right now to get Cowboys defensive tackle Henry Melton on the field.
Training camp isn’t tomorrow and the first practice doesn’t begin until July 24.
The season won’t sneak up on anybody so while Melton does his rehab from a torn ACL, everything is on schedule.
Melton said his knee is doing fine and he expects to be ready for that first practice in late July.
“I think you’ve got to be smart about guys like that,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “Obviously Henry’s a pro. He’s been to the Pro Bowl. He knows how to play the game. He’s also coming off a significant injury. I think everything our doctors say is he’s right on time.”
Melton reached the Pro Bowl in 2012 after compiling six sacks, third most in the NFL for defensive linemen, and causing all sorts of havoc. In a two-year stretch, Melton had 13 sacks in 29 games. Only Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins (20 sacks in 32 games) had more.
However, the Cowboys are looking for the Melton who reached the Pro Bowl in 2012.
After that Pro Bowl season, the expectations increased and he participated in just three games last season before the injury.
How he returns will dictate a lot for the Cowboys' defense and Melton’s future.
“Every week I get stronger and better,” Melton said. “We’re just focusing on getting my knee as strong as possible and aiming for preseason and all that. I feel like I could go out there and do some things during these OTAs. It’s something we talked about before. [But] we’re going to focus on training camp and get ready for the season.”