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Cowboys likely to tag Anthony Spencer

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Talks with linebacker Anthony Spencer about a long-term contract continue, but the Cowboys appear to be ready to take the necessary steps to assure that Spencer remains in Dallas if they don’t come to an agreement.

Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com reports that the team is likely to place the franchise tag on Spencer before Monday’s deadline to use it. The tag would guarantee Spencer a one-year deal worth $8.8 million.

That’s a fairly hefty sum for a player who doesn’t have the difference making pass rushing skills that you look for in a 3-4 outside linebacker. The Cowboys would probably prefer to cut that number down, which actually supports the notion that the Cowboys will use their tag on Spencer. Doing so would buy the Cowboys more time to reach agreement on a longer extension with Spencer without risking another team blowing him away with an offer once the free agent market opens for business.

That’s what happened the two previous times that the Cowboys have used the franchise tag during Jerry Jones’ tenure as owner and de facto general manager. As Watkins points out, Flozell Adams and Ken Hamlin each were tagged before eventually signing longer deals with the team.

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27 Responses to “Cowboys likely to tag Anthony Spencer”
  1. everydayimfumbilin says: Mar 4, 2012 10:09 AM

    Not exactly a franchise player…

  2. cowboynation919 says: Mar 4, 2012 10:12 AM

    As a Cowboy’s fan I agree Spencer is a decent player, who stays out of trouble and at least trys. Unlike most of the D last year. I would actually be giving Bruce Carter more opportunity. But I don’t find Spencer worthy of a franchise tag. I would be more worried about Laurent Robinson finding another home…but that’s just me…

    But as long as we can get two people out of Nicks, Finnegan, and Carr I won’t mind the Specer tag.. Nicks and Finnegan alone will be HUGE upgrades.

  3. djbleedthestar says: Mar 4, 2012 10:15 AM

    I actually don’t care what they do. We need oline and corner help!

  4. medialovesthecowboys says: Mar 4, 2012 10:24 AM

    Common sense would tell you, “Let him walk”.
    But this is Jerry Jones were talking about…so…you know…

  5. gazinkus says: Mar 4, 2012 10:27 AM

    Why do people seem to think that EVERY 3-4 LB has to be a pass rusher? Wouldn’t that make a 3-4 actually a 5-2, like some high school defense?

    Spencer is the strong-side OLB and is depended upon to set the edge on rushing downs and drop into the flats on passing ones. He rushes the QB very seldom, comparative to Demarcus Ware on the other side. Sacks or QB Pressures are not the way to gauge this position.

    Now, there IS an argument about whether he is acceptable in the role he has. But at least use the right argument for his value.

  6. ericn42000 says: Mar 4, 2012 10:38 AM

    Jerry we need Finnegan and Nicks…..Go get them!

  7. starfan79 says: Mar 4, 2012 10:53 AM

    cowboynation919 says:
    Mar 4, 2012 10:12 AM
    As a Cowboy’s fan I agree Spencer is a decent player, who stays out of trouble and at least trys. Unlike most of the D last year. I would actually be giving Bruce Carter more opportunity. But I don’t find Spencer worthy of a franchise tag. I would be more worried about Laurent Robinson finding another home…but that’s just me…

    But as long as we can get two people out of Nicks, Finnegan, and Carr I won’t mind the Specer tag.. Nicks and Finnegan alone will be HUGE upgrades.
    ————————————————————————————————————————

    Carter is an inside linebacker, Spencer is outside linebacker… big difference in a 3-4. The only other options are to spend all the money on Mario Williams, draft Courtney Upshaw from Bama, or try to keep what you got… Big guaranteed money pushed back a year that won’t affect the cap will be what gets him to stay.

  8. ampats says: Mar 4, 2012 10:57 AM

    Hopefully the Cowboys tag him which will take them out of the Mario Williams sweepstakes.

  9. rickastleydancemoves says: Mar 4, 2012 11:01 AM

    @gazinkus

    Thats a nice little essay but you’re wrong. Mario Williams was on pace for double digit sacks. Connor Barwin plays on the strong side and he had 11.5 sacks and played the run/contained well. So next year when Ware is your sole pass rush again, you’ll be happy with a guy that plays the run well, instead of a guy that plays the run well AND gets consistent pressure and sacks?

  10. billymc75 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:10 AM

    Dumb move this guy admitted to taking plays off, and gives Ware no help

  11. billymc75 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:16 AM

    These guys have a few young LBs that could def challenge him for a job and cost less , another financial decision by Jerry. Please for the love of football let Stephen make the decisions at least he can admit that our def is terrible

  12. spytdi says: Mar 4, 2012 11:17 AM

    Bruce Carter is an ILB in the 3-4 scheme and will get his chance with Brooking and Bradie James being let go eventually. Spencer is fine. They need a fat guy to replace Ratliff and move him outside.

  13. worldwidebleater says: Mar 4, 2012 11:18 AM

    That’s like putting a $1600 alarm system in a ’78 Maverick.

  14. shanehockey28 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:38 AM

    Nooooo! Yes I agree Spencer is great against the run but that IS it. The Boys said they would get more pressure and retaining this clown wont do it. I watched every cowboy game this year and he gets no pressure at all. I was surprised that he somehow got 6 sacks. I really hope this is false or just a rumor.

  15. dwntwnbadboy19 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:44 AM

    worldwidebleater says: Mar 4, 2012 11:18 AM

    That’s like putting a $1600 alarm system in a ’78 Maverick.
    ————————————-
    awesome, well put sir

  16. darocnessmonsta says: Mar 4, 2012 11:53 AM

    Gazinkus u obviously know football cause u nailed it all Anthony Spencer haters dont know this so its easy to think he is not a good player, his main job is to stop the run and when they do let him rush he gets good pressure hence the reason they call him almost Anthony. Looking at whats out there he is the top outside linebacker so stop hating Jerry Jones and his sometimes smart decisions lol!!!

  17. pesh00 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:59 AM

    Those of you that are upset about this…what alternative do we have???

    1. There are no real good OLBs left in FA (outside Mario if he plays in a 3-4), so Spencer immediately moves up the list as one of the top available FAs. Meaning someone is willing to overpay.

    2. Let’s starte with Ahmad Brooks from SF he got paid about $7 per year and is also considered average/OK. So Spencer’s agent, is going to start there, knowing Spencer has better numbers.

    3. If you want to blame anyone, blame the GM. His job is to have some foresight and think about the future of the franchise (i.e looking at replacement options 2-3 years in advance), rather, our GM is more interested in getting the Paquiao/Mayweather fight to Cowboys stadium and Go-go dancers at the stadium.

    4. Based on #3, this is why we always overpay players who don’t need to be overpaid and have to keep them a year too longs since we have overpaid them.

    5. All in all the only option is to franchise him and hope we can draft a cheaper/better replacement so we can let him go after this year.

  18. cynicalpinnacle says: Mar 4, 2012 12:04 PM

    Spears, Sensabaugh, Scandrick, Ratliff and now Spencer. If your defense sucks just give them more money.

  19. billymc75 says: Mar 4, 2012 12:06 PM

    It’s worth it if we get good DBs

  20. cynicalpinnacle says: Mar 4, 2012 12:09 PM

    Those of you that are upset about this…what alternative do we have??

    Victor Butler is better than Spencer. Run stopping OLB that have no pass rushing skills are easy to find. And Brooks is the best OLB on his team and got more attention than Spencer.

  21. trefkennedy says: Mar 4, 2012 12:10 PM

    We need more pass rushers, look at the dwarf’s and they playoff run, they secondary is as bad as ours, but when you have 4-5 d line pieces who can get to the qb with out having to blitz, makes a huge difference

  22. yevrag3535 says: Mar 4, 2012 12:36 PM

    Great, this guy sucks. But don’t all the cowboys do? Yes they do……. People wake up, they are done before thay start.

  23. ctom32 says: Mar 4, 2012 1:04 PM

    Tag him and be done with it. Then focus on the damn secondary which has been terrible since the playoff game in Minnesota. Fix the secondary and we’ll contend!

  24. fuzzebear says: Mar 4, 2012 1:29 PM

    Gazinkus u obviously know football cause u nailed it all Anthony Spencer haters dont know this so its easy to think he is not a good player, his main job is to stop the run and when they do let him rush he gets good pressure hence the reason they call him almost Anthony. Looking at whats out there he is the top outside linebacker so stop hating Jerry Jones and his sometimes smart decisions lol!!!

    He is NOT a top LB and should not be paid like one. He is a borderline 1st round bust. He is a FIRST ROUND PICK and has not lived up to it. He’s a poor man’s Greg Ellis who was a little above average. Bottom line-if the Cowboys resign Elam and sign Carr and either draft a good CB or sign another CB in free agency the defense will be better. CB was the MAJOR reason why this team failed. They were an absolute joke.

  25. Ba'al from www.Cowboys-Forum.com says: Mar 4, 2012 2:26 PM

    This has tobe a joke because it makes no sense to waste that much money on a player like Spencer.

  26. cornersportsnet says: Mar 4, 2012 7:20 PM

    I’m a cowboy fan and It’s a good move ,sign him a couple corners and a linebacker and were contending

  27. dznutz28 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:22 PM

    Who is going to rush the passer if Ware is out for a few games. Dallas has had great luck with Wares health up to now but all players miss a few games here and there. I hope that if Spencer is tagged that we can get a deal done with a lower cap number and not a huge signing bonus so we can cut him next year. We have no legitimate pass rushers except for Ware and you can’t realistically expect anyone to stay healthy for a complete season.

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