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Jerry Jones Says "Looking Like We'll Keep" Anthony Spencer On 53-Man Roster, Josh Brent Could Make It, Too

The Cowboys could use a boost along their defensive line. Just maybe they'll be getting it.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

All the way back in 2013, at the beginning of training camp, the Dallas Cowboys defensive line started its long decline, mainly decimated by injury. Throw in the departure of DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, and you have a line that has been called possibly the least-talented in the NFL. Now, that's a pretty dire prediction, but it does speak to just how much injury and departures have left the cupboard bare. Of the current Cowboys defenders along the line that are almost assuredly going to be able to play in week 1, only Henry Melton has shown the form that could be labeled as elite. And he's coming off ACL surgery and is currently hobbled with a groin injury. George Selvie had a 2013 season that was pretty dang good, and he might be putting himself in the category of "nice piece to have". Outside of those two, you have veterans that haven't quite proven it yet, veterans who have been stopped by injuries, and rookies trying to make a mark in the league. That's thin stew.

Just maybe, the Cowboys will get lucky and receive the services of a couple of veterans that actually have some pedigree in the league, one has actually been a Pro Bowler.

This is a very good article about the prospects of Anthony Spencer returning to the team. We all know that Spencer is trying to recover from micro-fracture surgery and that he's been making progress. He's gone from months of literally not being able to walk and binge-watching Breaking Bad and  Game Of Thrones to doing enough rehab where the Cowboys think it's possible he won't go on the PUP list to start the year. Granted, this is all speculation right now and they won't really know until he takes some reps in a practice, but there is reasonable hope that he'll play this year.

"There’s no set timetable. Every one of these surgeries and subsequent rehabs are different. How Anthony progresses is dictated by how he tolerates the work every day," Brown said. "We are hopeful that when the time comes, before the opener, that we’re far enough in the process to have a legitimate discussion of whether or not he starts the season on PUP. We have to get him some reps and see if he’s comfortable." Reading between the lines, that sounds like Spencer, barring a setback, could be ready two or three games into the season, and the team just needs to determine what makes sense, roster-wise.

Now, when Spencer does return, it’s not going to be 100 percent, at least not at first. Brown estimates that by around Thanksgiving Spencer should be near that level.

Okay, that's not exactly the best prognosis, but it's not bad either.

Jerry Jones seems to think Spencer will be on the 53-man roster.

"He's getting there," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "He's getting there at a faster pace than we thought. We're hoping that when we get to our 53-man cut down that we'll be dealing with that problem. The problem is: Do we keep him on the roster because he's going to be ready to go in a game, or do we PUP him, which would mean we couldn't use him for six games?

"It's looking like we'll keep him on the roster."

Dallas could certainly use Spencer as a rotational defensive end in 2014.

The other vet is Josh Brent. Whether he deserves a second/third-chance, depending on how you view it, is not what I'm discussing here. The fact is he's out of the legal system now, and as long as Roger Goodell says he can play, he should be a Cowboy again. And he could definitely help.

Josh Brent met with commissioner Roger Goodell in New York last week in the hopes he will be allowed to resume his NFL career. The Cowboys have made it clear they will welcome the nose tackle back to compete for a job if he receives a favorable ruling. Owner Jerry Jones was asked to provide an update.

"I don’t have any,’’ Jones said. "I know the commissioner has met with him and they like to keep those between the league and the individuals involved. We’ll wait for the commissioner’s decision in due time.’’

Jones has said the Cowboys will make a roster move to clear a spot for Brent if he’s allowed to return.

Even though Brent is not exactly the fast, penetrating defensive tackle that we think about in this new 4-3 scheme, he has shown he can be disruptive and force teams to double-team him. As a 1-tech, he could cause damage. Again, another great find for the rotation if he can get back in shape and not be suspended for too long, if at all.

Sure, it's a little gloomy, and there are no assurances that help is on the way. Given how the Cowboys luck has run recently, you'd probably bet against either of these guys coming in and making a difference. But the season hasn't started yet, so we can still hold out hope.

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