In April of 2007, the Dallas Cowboys traded up to get back into the first round so that they could draft a defensive end out of Purdue University named Anthony Spencer with the 26th pick. It was a weird move at the time. The Cowboys already had Demarcus Ware and Greg Ellis on the roster. However it would prove to be a good draft pick because of the injury Greg Ellis had suffered going in to the 2007-2008 season.
Spencer was named a Starter on the opposite side from Demarcus Ware. Spencer became only the 4th Dallas Cowboy linebacker, to start the opening game of his rookie season. During that season Spencer Recorded 28 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Spencer’s rookie season was more than decent, seeing that Greg Ellis regained his pro bowl form, as well as his starting spot after 6 games into the season.
Spencer has been very solid been a very solid performer over the course of his career. Spencer Often overshadowed by the high production of counterpart Demarcus Ware. Spencer achieved his first double digit sack season this past year to go along with a career high 11.5 sacks. His production in the 2012-2013 seasons proved too valuable enough that the cowboys decided to place the franchise tag on him for the second straight season.
Some people have a problem with him receiving the franchise tag, because franchising him will cost the Cowboys $10.6 million in cap space. Especially when the Cowboy’s most obvious weakness last season was the offensive line, specifically right tackle and Doug Free. Bengals RT Andre Smith graded out as the best tackle in the NFL last season, and his price tag is only $9 million. A lot of fans think would have made more sense to let Spencer go and sign Smith to replace Free and sew up the offensive line.
I think this move to Franchise Spencer will work out for the best. Either ending in a trade for draft picks in this year’s draft or ending with the cowboys renting a very good defensive end for 1 more season to see if they would really like to enter into a long term situation with Spencer. Its almost like a 1 year audition. If he doesn’t perform the way we expect. We simply let him walk next season.
All in all I believe Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys made the best decision for the tam by franchising Spencer. The D-line is set now we can focus on the offensive line in the draft. Hopefully they can grab a safety and a running back as well. The future is right in Big D. After all Jerry Jones wouldn’t have it any other way.