Report: Cowboys Will Release Veteran DE Marcus Spears

Spears spent eight seasons with Dallas after being drafted by the team in 2005

After eight seasons with the team, the Dallas Cowboys will bid adieu to veteran defensive end and former first round pick Marcus Spears, according to ESPN Dallas.

Spears was selected 20th overall out of LSU in 2005, the second of the Cowboys’ two first round picks that year--the first, of course, was linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Long viewed as something of a bust, Spears quietly became a leader of the Cowboys’ defense and served as a quality run stopper in eight years--all of which were spent as a 3-4 defensive end.

With Dallas moving to the 4-3 under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, Spears became more expendable than he might have been otherwise, and his ouster will help the Cowboys’ considerable cap troubles. The move will save the team about $2 million against the cap and, as Spears will be designated a post-June 1 cut, they’re allowed to spread out the cap hit over the next two seasons.

According to ESPN Dallas’ Todd Archer, Spears will account for a $700,000 cap hit this year, and a $1.4 million hit in 2014. He was just two seasons into a five-year deal, signed back in 2011.

Last season, Spears posted 35 tackles and a sack, while appearing in 15 games. He started just six.

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