<
>

Henry Melton not concerned about future

IRVING, Texas -- When Henry Melton signed with the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason, he was betting on himself.

He signed a one-year deal with a three-year option after missing all but three games last season with the Chicago Bears because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. If the Cowboys pick up the option on Melton’s deal, he is guaranteed $9 million in 2015. The base salaries in 2015-17 are worth $7.5 million each year.

Melton has five sacks on the season. With one more sack, he will pocket a $250,000 incentive. He will get $500,000 for seven sacks and $750,000 for eight sacks.

But there will be a question as to whether the Cowboys pick up the option. He plays fewer than 30 snaps a game. He does not start. Is it wise to pay a player $9 million if he plays so little? The Cowboys could always work out a new deal with Melton before they have to pick up the option on the first day of the 2015 league year.

“Ah, man, I don’t think about that,” Melton said of the option. “We’re trying to win games.”

Melton has 3.5 of his team-high five sacks in the last three games. He has been affecting the quarterback, as Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli likes to say.

“Any time you can smell what kind of deodorant he’s wearing, it’s always a good sign,” Melton said. “It’s good getting after him and getting some pressure.”

He was unable to sack Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles in the Cowboys' last game, but he did get close enough to smell Bortles’ deodorant.

“I want to say he was wearing the Swagger Old Spice,” Melton joked.

Melton has six tackles, two tackles for loss, 13 quarterback pressures, three pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. He has started only two games, coming in mostly as situational player as he has worked his way back from the knee surgery.

“It’s just a process,” Melton said. “I feel I get a little bit more confident in it every week. I’m still not 100 percent, but we’re grinding it out every week, in the weight room to get it where it needs to be.”