Earlier this week second-year defensive end Ben Gardner posted a photo of his new locker, complete with his new number, to Instagram. No big deal. Only that Gardner's new number was 93, the number former Pro Bowl defensive end Anthony Spencer had worn since coming to the team as a first round pick out of Purdue in 2007.
Many figured the Cowboys giving Gardner No. 93 was a sure sign that they would let Spencer go elsewhere in free agency and, on Friday, that’s exactly what he did.
Spencer has signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, the team has announced, a move that reunites the veteran pass rusher with former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Ryan coached Spencer for two seasons in Dallas, in 2011 and 2012. It was under Ryan in 2012 that Spencer had his best season, as he recorded 11 sacks, led the team in tackles and earned the first and only Pro Bowl nod of his career to this point.
After returning from microfracture surgery on his knee last year--he appeared in just a single game in 2013 before being shut down--Spencer recorded 22 tackles, a half sack and a forced fumble in 13 games. In the team's two playoff games, he had four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.