Sunday, January 27, 2013
A Pro Bowl first, Cowboy last for Anthony Spencer?
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- Anthony Spencer's first trip to the Pro Bowl could also be the last time he wears a Cowboys helmet.
Spencer was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster as an injury replacement for Green Bay's Clay Matthews and will be joined in today's game by one teammate, tight end Jason Witten, who will be playing in his eighth Pro Bowl.
DeMarcus Ware was selected to the Pro Bowl for the seventh straight year, but he is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Spencer is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in March. However, the Cowboys and his agent, Jordan Woy, have had preliminary talks in recent weeks and both sides are hopeful a deal can be worked out. The Cowboys could place the franchise tag on Spencer for a second straight season, which would cost $10.6 million.
Reaching an accord on a long-term contract will be difficult because of the team's somewhat tight salary-cap situation and just how well Spencer played in 2012.
He led the Cowboys with 106 tackles and reached double digits in sacks for the first time in his career with 11 while only playing in 14 games. From Week 1-17, Spencer was the Cowboys' best defender and even took over the play calling later in the season due to injuries to Sean Lee and Bruce Carter.
Woy said he anticipates more talks with the Cowboys in February, leading into the NFL scouting combine.
Witten does not have any contractual worries. He is signed through 2017 and is coming off a season in which he set an NFL record for catches in a season for a tight end (110) and became the Cowboys' all-time leader in receptions.
Witten is returning to the Pro Bowl after missing out in 2011. He played in seven straight Pro Bowls from 2004-10. The only Cowboys with more Pro Bowl selections than Witten are Bob Lilly (11), Larry Allen (10), Mel Renfro (10) and Randy White (nine). Lilly, Renfro and White are Hall of Famers and Allen is a finalist this year.