2014 Cowboys free agents: Anthony Spencer

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
9:00
AM ET
Anthony Spencer
Position: Defensive end
Type: Unrestricted
2013 salary: $10.627 millionAnthony Spencer
Position: Defensive end
Type: Unrestricted
2013 salary: $10.627 million

Spencer
Summary: Spencer played in just one game because of a knee injury that eventually required microfracture surgery. He had two tackles and two quarterback pressures in 34 snaps against the Kansas City Chiefs and did not play after that. The Cowboys gave him the franchise tag for the second straight year and felt he would be a stabilizing piece in their switch to the 4-3 after putting up 11 sacks in 2012. It never happened because of a knee injury that troubled him in the spring and required a scope during training camp before the microfracture surgery.

Why keep him: The Cowboys still need all the defensive line help they can get and Spencer's price will be low because of the knee surgery. The Cowboys committed nearly $20 million to Spencer in 2012-13 and would like to get something out of him, provided he is healthy. He is a stout run defender and showed in 2012 he can get to the passer.

Why let him go: While the Cowboys have had players return from microfracture surgeries in the past, it is a delicate operation that requires patience. Spencer turned 30 last month and now will have a knee that will be managed. George Selvie had seven sacks as Spencer's replacement in 2013.

Best guess: If Spencer's price is right, the Cowboys can keep him, but when will he get on the field? The rehabilitation process is a long one and it's not clear whether he will be ready to go when training camp begins in July. Spencer might also find the Cowboys as his best option, since they know exactly where he is medically and will give him the right amount of rest. If he can prove his health, then finding a 3-4 team (New Orleans?) to take a chance on him could be an option as well. Summary: Spencer played in just one game because of a knee injury that eventually required microfracture surgery. He had two tackles and two quarterback pressures in 34 snaps against the Kansas City Chiefs and did not play after that. The Cowboys gave him the franchise tag for the second straight year and felt he would be a stabilizing piece in their switch to the 4-3 after putting up 11 sacks in 2012. It never happened because of a knee injury that troubled him in the spring and required a scope during training camp before the microfracture surgery.

Why keep him: The Cowboys still need all the defensive line help they can get and Spencer’s price will be low because of the knee surgery. The Cowboys committed nearly $20 million to Spencer in 2012-13 and would like to get something out of him, provided he is healthy. He is a stout run defender and showed in 2012 he can get to the passer.

Why let him go: While the Cowboys have had players return from microfracture surgeries in the past, it is a delicate operation that requires patience. Spencer turned 30 last month and now will have a knee that will be managed. George Selvie had seven sacks as Spencer’s replacement in 2013.

Best guess: If Spencer’s price is right, the Cowboys can keep him, but when will he get on the field. The rehabilitation process is a long one and it’s not clear whether he will be ready to go when training camp begins in July. Spencer might also find the Cowboys as his best option, since they know exactly where he is medically and will give him the right amount of rest. If he can prove his health, then finding a 3-4 team (New Orleans?) to take a chance on him could be an option as well.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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