Henry Melton signs with Cowboys

Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton, a 2012 Pro Bowler, has signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Chicago Bears paid Henry Melton $8.4 million last season for two-plus games worth of action. The Bears were hoping that ridiculous investment would pay off in the form of a long-term contract for the Pro Bowl defensive tackle, but that never materialized.

Instead, Melton embarked on a free-agency tour the past week that included stops in Seattle and Minnesota, before finally signing with the Dallas Cowboys. Melton announced on Twitter his change of teams.

"Thank you chicago for the best 5 years of my life!," Melton tweeted Tuesday night. "I can't wait to begin the next chapter of my life… With a star on my helmet."

Melton, 27, was a former fourth-round draft pick of the Bears who played five seasons in Chicago. He was the club's under tackle, or 3-technique, which was the centerpiece of the 4-3 defense.

His departure leaves a big hole to fill along the defensive line. The club re-signed Jeremiah Ratliff and Nate Collins this offseason but will also likely add another piece early in this year's draft. Most analysts have linked the Bears to either Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald or Florida State's Timmy Jernigan in the first round.

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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