After a maddeningly-slow opening to the off season, the moves for the Dallas Cowboys are coming fast and furious. After recently announcing the release of 4-year starting FS Gerald Sensabaugh, the Cowboys have announced that for the 2nd year in a row they'll be using their Franchise Tag on DE Anthony Spencer.
Spencer had a career year last season, and many doubted that the Cowboys could re-sign him. The impending shift from 3-4 to 4-3 also seemed to spell the end of Spencer's days in Dallas. But alas, Jerry Jones and Co. have decided that they could not be without the former first-rounder in 2013.
Dallas has a few options now. First off, they can work towards signing a long-term deal. If the two sides can come to an agreement, it would supercede the Franchise tag and Dallas wouldn't be left reeling from the $10.6 million cap hit Spencer is due. Spencer's agent tweeted that this is the plan, and he said the two parties would begin talks soon.
Another option is to trade him. The Franchise Tag allows them to retain his rights, and Spencer may have some value in the trade department. Any guess on what they could get for him is purely speculative, but a decent draft pick may be all the tempting the team needs to move on.
The final option is to simply let him play on the Tag. Sure, the money is a lot, but it's nothing compared to what will be spent on a long-term deal. There are questions on whether or not Spencer can play the Defensive End position in the 4-3. He's not completely new to it, having played the position (and played it well) back in his Purdue days. He's undersized for the position, but should be able to bulk up well in the offseason now that he won't have to worry about covering RBs out of the backfield.
So, while this tagging of Spencer answers a big question, it leads to many more. The story of Anthony Spencer and the Dallas Cowboys this offseason has just begun; it's anyone's guess as to where it goes next.
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