Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with Anthony Spencer #93 of the Dallas Cowboys after the Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 at Cowboys Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
The Dallas Cowboys have franchised Anthony Spencer the past two seasons to do things — avoid him signing with another team and also to hopefully eventually find a way to give him a long-term deal. In 2012, Spencer had a breakout season with 11 sacks as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme of Rob Ryan.
In 2013, Spencer played one game — a Week 2 affair against the Kansas City Chiefs before undergoing microfracture surgery and missing the rest of the season while collecting his $10 million paycheck as a result of being hit with the franchise tag.
This offseason, the Cowboys won't be franchising Spencer, most likely, but they are open to signing him to a deal as a free agent. It's just going to have to come at the right price, which is assumed to be a reduced rate and a shorter term than he probably would've wanted heading into last season off a career year.
"Anthony has been an unbelievable player for us," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told ESPN Dallas. "Very unfortunate what happened to him last year but very productive. Obviously a guy we think a lot of. We franchised him last year, of course, injuries happen in our game. But he's the type of player you want on your team. We got our fingers crossed, and I know he does too on that his injury comes along in the proper way."
Spencer's agent Jordan Woy told ESPN Dallas that Spencer should be ready for training camp this summer, which is a good sign.