IRVING, Texas – Henry Melton's season with the Cowboys is over. And because of his contract situation, there's a chance the same could be said about his career in Dallas.
But the Cowboys placed Melton on injured reserve Tuesday with a bruised knee that likely wouldn't allow him to play the rest of the postseason, regardless how far this team advances.
To fill his spot on the roster, the Cowboys signed veteran linebacker James Anderson, who was with three teams this year, and recently cut by the Falcons.
In 2013, Anderson started all 16 games for the Bears, totaling 102 tackles and four sacks. He started the year with the Patriots but was cut before the regular season began. Anderson, who has 69 career starts, played seven games with the Titans and was on the roster for the last month with the Falcons but never played in a regular season game.
As for Melton, who signed a one-year contract with a three-year option worth $9 million, he seemed disappointed by the timing of his injury more than anything else.
"I wanted to be out there with the guys for this playoff run," said Melton, who suffered the injury early in Sunday's 44-17 win over Washington. "I just got rolled up on. It's just part of the game. But it's disappointing."
Without Melton, the Cowboys have some options with the three-technique. Terrell McClain has played mostly as the one-technique over the ball, but can rotate in behind Tyrone Crawford. If Josh Brent can get back to action after missing three games with a calf injury, McClain could slide over. But the Cowboys also have two rookies on the practice squad in Ken Bishop and Davon Coleman who could get called up.
The signing of Anderson (6-3, 220) could signal the Cowboys' concerns in the health of rookie Anthony Hitchens, who has a high-ankle sprain that he suffered against the Redskins. Hitchens is expected to try and practice this week and could even play against Detroit on Sunday. But at least Anderson could provide some insurance and possibly depth on special teams.