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Monday, March 17, 2014
Cowboys' visits ongoing with Melton, Allen

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – As Henry Melton's visit with the Dallas Cowboys comes to a close, Jared Allen's is beginning.

Melton met with Cowboys coaches and front office types on Monday and sources indicate his surgically-repaired left knee checked out fine in meeting with the team's medical staff. At the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis last month, Melton's agent, Jordan Woy, said Melton would be 100 percent ready to go by training camp after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the third game of the 2013 season.

Allen flew in on Monday night and was scheduled to meet with coach Jason Garrett and several assistants. His visit will go through Tuesday.

Like everything in free agency, the decisions will come down to the financial commitment. So far the Cowboys have been disciplined in their approach to the open market as they make the effort to fix their salary-cap situation in the near and distant future.

The hardest call was parting ways with DeMarcus Ware, which freed up $7.4 million in salary-cap space, but also opened up an even bigger need at defensive end. The Cowboys have signed defensive linemen Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain in free agency but they are viewed as complimentary pieces.

Melton and Allen would be starting pieces, but at what cost? Melton, 27, developed into a Pro Bowl performer under Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli with the Chicago Bears. Allen, who turns 32 in April, has had at least 11 sacks in a season for the last seven years.

The Cowboys have competition for both players. Melton has visited with the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. Allen also had a visit with the Seahawks.