Cowboys To Use Franchise Tag On Anthony Spencer?

If only Spencer had a few more sacks each season - the decision on whether to keep him would be so much easier.

What the Cowboys decide to do with outside linebacker Anthony Spencer will likely decide the course of the offseason more than any single other decision they'll take. Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that the Cowboys are considering using the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer.

According to Football Outsiders, the franchise tag at that position could end up costing the Cowboys around $9 million. That may not be the kind of money the Cowboys are willing to invest in the position, but the Cowboys may find themselves out of options. They do not have an immediate successor on their roster, as Victor Butler has seen little more than spot-duty on pass rushing downs and there are no other immediate candidates.

Many of the available free agents like Mario Williams, Cliff Avril or Robert Mathis will likely command prices close to or even above that $9 million mark, and carry the additional risk of not having played in a 3-4 for any extended period of time. Unless of course the noises coming out of Valley Ranch about moving to a 4-3 scheme are more than just idle chatter.

Letting a known commodity like Spencer go, simply to replace him with an unknown commodity at the same price doesn't seem like a wise decision. At the same time, if the Cowboys want equivalent production from a draft pick, they'll have to spend their first-round pick on a pass rusher. Sure, you could always hope for a pass rusher to emerge in later rounds, but hope is not a strategy.

At the end of the day, the decision on what to do with Anthony Spencer will impact free agency, the draft and ultimately the decision on which defensive scheme to use. It could easily be the most important decision the Cowboys make this offseason. Let's hope they get it right, whatever route they choose.

The Cowboys can use the tag in a two-week window starting on February 20 and ending on March 5.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker