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Jared Allen Set To Visit Tuesday; Melton In Monday


IRVING, Texas – The household veteran names are finally visiting Dallas after a quiet start to free agency for the Cowboys.

Defensive tackle Henry Melton and quarterback Brandon Weeden are both slated to visit the Cowboys on Monday, while former All-Pro Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is expected to visit Tuesday.

Both Melton and Allen have reportedly visited already with the Seahawks. Melton also visited the Vikings and is understandably garnering a great deal of interest around the league as one of the last high-profile defensive tackles available in free agency.

Allen, meanwhile, is the highest profile and most well-known defensive end left on the market. The star pass rusher has five Pro Bowls to his name and was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.

He's finished each of the last seven seasons with double-digit sacks and could significantly lessen the blow for the Cowboys of losing both DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher early in free agency. Both Melton and Allen have ties to Dallas. Melton's a native of Grapevine, Texas, while Allen was born in Dallas.

Allen, who's finished with at least 11 sacks in eight of 10 seasons, will be viewed as more of a sure bet for production after playing in all 16 games each of the last six seasons in Minnesota. Melton, meanwhile, is coming off an ACL injury that limited him to just three games last season.

The defensive tackle is expected to be fully ready for the 2014 season and has strong ties to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli from their time together in Chicago. Melton had seven sacks in 2011 and six in 2012 before getting his 2013 season cut short. [embedded_ad]

Multiple reports surfaced during the weekend that Allen would visit with the Cowboys, although he has also reportedly mulled retirement if he can't find a deal for the right price.

Dallas' look at more high-profile free agents heightened after losing Ware to the Broncos, who gave the former Cowboys' pass-rusher a three-year, $30 million deal. Shortly after, the Cowboys lost Hatcher to the rival Redskins on a four-year, $27.5 million deal.

After signing defensive end Jeremy Mincey and defensive tackle Terrell McClain, the Cowboys turned their interest toward Melton, Allen and Julius Peppers, but Peppers went on to sign a three-year deal with the Packers.

With the list of high-profile free agents dwindling on the defensive line, the Cowboys will have to move quickly and efficiently if they want to sign Melton or Allen.

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