Cowboys unlikely to franchise tag Anthony Spencer again

2/20/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The Dallas Cowboys hope to re-sign outside linebacker Anthony Spencer, but the team is reportedly looking for a move won’t require the franchise tag or build up against their cap space.
The Dallas Cowboys are sitting roughly $20 million over the 2013 salary cap. Anthony Spencer, who played out his rookie contract at the end of the 2011 season, was retained by the Dallas Cowboys last season at the cost of a $8.8 million franchise tag. But if Anthony Spencer is franchise tagged for a second consecutive season, that number would increase to $10.6 million for 2013.
Instead, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to be working on a long-term deal with Anthony Spencer before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
"Anthony wants to stay here and the Cowboys smartly want to keep him,” said Anthony Spencer's agent, Jordan Woy. “Hopefully there will be some creativity available to get something done.”
Anthony Spencer is coming off a career season, compiling 55 tackles, 11 sacks and 3 pass defenses in 2012. But since the Dallas Cowboys don’t want a move to retain Anthony Spencer to take a huge chunk of on the Dallas Cowboys’ salary cap the team will certainly have to get creative to  find a way around its’ cap situation.
The Dallas Cowboys are also expected to make a series of moves to free up the necessary cap space. One of most important moves in that process for the Dallas Cowboys is getting a cap-friendly extension for quarterback Tony Romo. But two sides haven’t even begun negotiations yet.
But the Dallas Cowboys are already in talks with Anthony Spencer’s agent, which could heat up the coming days. The Dallas Cowboys are scheduled to meet Anthony Spencer’s agent at the NFL Combine at Indianapolis this week.
"We are not [in] a huge rush to get something done tomorrow," said Jordan Woy. "We will know a lot more after the combine."
However, there’s the issue that while Anthony Spencer may be arguably among the top 3-4 outside linebacker in the league (Pro Football Focus ranked him at No. 1), the Dallas Cowboys are in the midst of a transition from the 3-4 defense to a 4-3 scheme. Additionally, with DeMarcus Ware moving from outside linebacker to defensive end in the 4-3 defense, the Dallas Cowboys could possibly manage without Anthony Spencer, while integrating a more affordable and naturally adaptable player at the position in the new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 scheme.
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