It’s only been two years since Anthony Spencer was the most dominant player on defense for the Dallas Cowboys. Since, Spencer has been loathed in Dallas because he has eaten a ton of money while only playing in one game. After Spencer’s career year in 2012, the Cowboys used the franchise tag on the Purdue product to retain him for the 2013 NFL season. Spencer missed Dallas’ first game against the rival New York Giants. But, he managed to play in week two against the Kansas City Chiefs. In that game, it only took around 20 snaps until Spencer re-injured his knee injury.
After that game, Spencer had microfracture surgery. This surgery kept him out for the rest of the season. Rod Marinelli came to Dallas for the most part because he envisioned a starting defensive line consisting of DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Jason Hatcher, and Spencer. After Spencer’s injury and Ratliff’s inability to stay healthy, this defensive line looked lost. In the 4-3 defense, the defensive line is the piston for this team’s cuccess. After Hatcher left for free agency and Ware’s release, this defensive line looked even worst than last year’s.
Signing Henry Melton in free agency was huge, but the Cowboys could look to add another starter on the defensive line because Melton’s deal was so cap-friendly. The signing of Jeremy Mincey was a good one, but he is definitely not a long-term starter for Dallas. That said, Dallas should look to re-sign Spencer. There have been rumors about Jared Allen coming home to play for the Cowboys, but he wants a lot of money. With around $5 million in cap space, getting Spencer would basically be a bargain.
I’ve never been a big fan of Spencer, but he is definitely better than any other option in free agency. It’s been almost two weeks since free agency began, and Spencer is still available. It is interesting that a guy who can play in the 4-3 or the 3-4 is still available. With multiple teams lining up visits for Spencer, it’s odd that he hasn’t been signed yet. The Cowboys should sign Spencer to a one-year $4 million deal. He could be a good stopgap for the future. If Dallas does sign Spencer, they could look to draft a free safety like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round of this year’s draft. If they do sign Spencer, Dallas’ defensive line in 2014 will most likely be Spencer, Melton, Ben Bass, and George Selvie. That defensive line isn’t the best, but it is most definitely not the worst.