Cowboys haven’t ruled out using franchise tag

Reuters

In discussions about the chances of impending free agent Anthony Spencer remaining in Dallas, the focus is usually on a long-term deal for a player who would be moving to defensive end with the Cowboys next season.

After franchising Spencer last year, it would cost the Cowboys $10.6 million in salary and cap space to do it again this year and that’s a big number for a team that would need to pare about $30 million from their current cap number in order to fit Spencer in at that figure. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones says that the team isn’t ruling out the possibility of using the tag in the next couple of weeks, however.

“We have Plan A, B, C, D, E,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “Some of those plans include the franchise tag.”

Jones didn’t specifically mention Spencer, but there’s not much reason to suspect he means anyone else because there’s no other free agent on Dallas’ roster worthy of the franchise tag.

Any plan that includes a tag for Spencer would likely have to include an extension for Tony Romo and/or restructured contracts for DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten, in addition to the departure of some players whose salaries are bigger than their on-field contributions. If those things happen, the tag could come back into play and Spencer could make the transition to the 4-3 in Dallas.