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March 14, 2014

Henry Melton scheduled to visit the Cowboys, who also have interest in Peppers and Allen if either's price falls

Defensive tackle Henry Melton has a visit scheduled with the Cowboys, according to a source, but the former Grapevine star will have to get out of Seattle without a contract to make it to Valley Ranch. He also visited the Vikings but left there Friday still a free agent and on his way to Seattle.

The Cowboys also have interest in defensive ends Julius Peppers and Jared Allen if either of their price tags comes down, according to a source.

Dallas is in desperate need of a three-technique after losing Jason Hatcher. It is the position Melton played for current Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli when Marinelli was defensive coordinator of the Bears. Melton, 27, played only three games last season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 2012 playing for Marinelli.

In four seasons, Melton has 15.5 sacks.

The Cowboys also are in the market for a veteran defensive end after cutting DeMarcus Ware. Anthony Spencer, a free agent, could depart, too.

Allen and Peppers have more career sacks than Ware. Allen, who turns 32 next month, ranks 12th all time with 128.5 career sacks. He had 11.5 last season. Peppers, 34, has 119 career sacks to rank 17th. He had 7.5 in 2013.

The Bears cut Peppers, who had an $18.2 million salary-cap number, this week. Allen was a free agent who could have signed with Denver before Ware was released, and the Broncos turned their attention to the ex Cowboy.

But the Cowboys don't have big money to offer. They have less than $8 million in cap space. So the price for any of the three would have to fit the team's budget.

-- Charean Williams

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