- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cowboys have tentative plans to speak with the agent for free agent outside linebacker Anthony Spencer by the end of the week about a possible new contract or to inform him his client will get a franchise tag.
The potential discussions between Spencer's agent, Roosevelt Barnes, and the team would be the second in the last week. Barnes said he met with Cowboys officials at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis last week and was open to more discussions.
If the Cowboys can't come to terms with a new deal, they have until March 5 to franchise Spencer. The franchise tag would cost $8.8 million.
It was an interesting week for contracts involving linebackers. San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks and Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson signed long-term deals this week that are examples for what Spencer could be seeking.
Brooks signed a six-year contract extension worth $44.5 million with $17.5 million guaranteed.
Jackson inked a five-year contract worth $42.5 million with $19 million in guarantees.
Spencer had hinted that the 2011 regular-season finale against the New York Giants might end his time with the Cowboys.
"It could be," Spencer said in late December. "It's a fact. I really don’t think about it. I play to win and try to get through the season and get to where we want to be at the beginning of the season to now. It hasn’t changed."
The team didn't approach Barnes about a new contract during the season, instead waiting for the free agency period to talk about any future deals.
Spencer has said he wants to remain with the Cowboys.
"Yeah, I've been here. I like it here," Spencer said. "I don’t want to go nowhere else, but I got to do what's best for me and my family.