When you hear Jerry Jones talk about this year's edition of the Cowboys being loaded with talent, one of the guys that pops to mind is Anthony Spencer. His first year as a starter began slowly but he was a force down the stretch. Spencer closed with four sacks in the final three regular season games and added one in each of the playoff games to give DeMarcus Ware the partner in crime he deserves.
That kind of finish and Spencer's strong work against the run makes you think he's going to play an even bigger part in the defense this season. The biggest obstacle to that coming to fruition is injury so it's okay to hold your breath a little bit when you hear that Spencer bruised his right Achilles tendon before Tuesday's practice. Someone stepped on his foot during warmups, the kind of injury that can become a folk legend if it winds up costing your team a shot at something special.
Go ahead and exhale, though. The injury isn't being considered serious and Spencer's status is deemed day-to-day by the team. Still, you'd hope that the Cowboys will play things conservative and hold him out of Sunday's game with the Bengals. Wade Phillips wouldn't say what the Cowboys plan to do when asked on Wednesday night but the risk isn't worth it.
It's a preseason game for a guy who you know is in the starting lineup which, first and foremost, should make his presence on Sunday a low priority. It's also the first of five preseason games, which means Spencer will have plenty of time to knock off the rust, and the starters are only going to play a series or two. We're all ready for some football, but playing Spencer seems like it would happen just for the sake of playing Spencer.
Give Victor Butler some extra snaps, keep him moving forward as a viable option for playing time in the base defense and let Spencer get his feet wet against the Raiders on August 12th.