The pressure's on to create pressure, and the defensive tackle understands the circumstances as the three-technique in defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's scheme.
"That's what the position demands," Melton said. "It doesn't matter. I was part of a great defense. I had a lot of Hall of Famers, future Hall of Famers on my defense, but I still had a bull's-eye on me playing that position. For the defense to be successful, the three-technique has to do his job and be very disruptive. "
Melton's best years at defensive tackle came while playing for Marinelli as the three-technique in Chicago. He knows it's all about being disruptive.
"It's fun," Melton said. "Not a lot of people can do it, because you have to be very athletic to make plays while doing it, but it's fun, because you're never wrong when you're trying to rush the passer and you're never wrong when you're being physical. So it's something that I know and that I trust and that I believe in when I signed here."
Melton's the premier signing for the Cowboys so far this offseason, after the team lost both DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher on the defensive line. The former Bears defensive tackle will have to be a significant part of transforming what was the league's worst defense last season if the Cowboys are to turn around their fate of the last few years.
The Cowboys finished last in the league in sacks per pass attempt last season, despite Hatcher having a career year with 11 sacks.
"The defense just had a bad case of luck," Melton said. "I was in Chicago where we had a great team, but some of the games could have just gone either way. That's just how it is in the National Football League. Everybody's trying to get to the same place, and I believe that this team is just a couple games away from making a good run in the playoffs."
Credit Marinelli for Melton being in Dallas.
Melton said he quickly realized he wanted to play for the Cowboys when he arrived at Valley Ranch, but it helped that Marinelli and Melton had dinner at a steakhouse at the Gaylord Hotel in Dallas, where the defensive coordinator helped convince the defensive tackle Dallas was the place to be.
"I can't even tell you what his recruiting techniques were," Melton said, "but it worked."
Melton said Marinelli met his mother, and the comfort he has from their past time together had to play a role in his decision.
"He's a great guy," Melton said. "That's why I'm excited to play for him, because he genuinely cares about you as a person, not just what you can do for him on the field. Of course he cares about that, but he actually does care about you off the field, and you have a genuinely good sense about that about him."
Seeking The Truth
Melton doesn't believe the lawsuit he's currently facing in his hometown of Grapevine, Texas, will affect his future or NFL career, and he remains steadfast that previous reports about his behavior aren't correct.
The defensive tackle told 105.3 FM "The Fan" the lawsuit for allegedly biting a bar owner after getting kicked out and subsequently arrested on charges of misdemeanor assault and public intoxication in December 2013 was just a money grab. [embedded_ad]
Melton further discussed in a conference call how he has confidence the lawsuit will get settled and his name will be cleared.
"It is what it is," Melton said. "Everyone sees it as that. There's no truth behind what was reported. It was off a paper with no investigation of actually trying to find out what happened and the truth. We're just going to move on from it and whatever happens, happens. But the truth will come out eventually."