Spencer was arguably playing at a level higher than DeMarcus Ware down the stretch last season, posting six sacks, four stuffs and a forced fumble in the team's final five games. This was something of a surprise for fans, who saw Spencer go without a sack until a Thanksgiving Day match-up against Oakland.
But for the guys who play with Spencer in Dallas's defense--and practice with him each day--his emergence was no surprise at all. Jay Ratliff, the All-Pro nose tackle and not-so-secret weapon of Dallas's defense, said as much recently to the Dallas Morning News, adding that the outside linebacker's potential has not yet been fully realized.
"Spence has been Spence," said Ratliff. "The fans and the media are surprised (about his success), but he's been doing the same things since he came in. It doesn't always show up on paper, but he's always in the backfield pressuring quarterbacks and I'm glad people are recognizing it. I'm pretty sure he's got some big expectations for himself, and we do too, so we believe he is going to get his job done.
"He's doing everything right," Ratliff added. "I'm pretty sure you will see him explode sometime soon."
Get the latest Dallas Cowboys news direct to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe to this free service. Read more about it here.