IRVING, Texas – Before this season, Anthony Spencer had never garnered more than 6.5 sacks. He hadn’t made a Pro Bowl and more importantly, he had never been a consistent player the Cowboys expected when they drafted him in the first round in 2007.
And then came the contract year. Or the second one, actually.
But even though Cowboys’ fans scratched their heads with puzzled looks when the club issued the $8.8 million franchise tag to Spencer, the sixth-year pro has actually proved to be worth every penny of it this year.
And he’s about to earn a few more pennies, probably on a long-term basis here in the future.
Will it be with the Cowboys? That’s an interesting question and one that likely won’t have real answers for a while.
On one hand, you can say Spencer is well worth a long-term contract probably in the neighborhood of $40-50 million over six or seven years.
However, the Cowboys will be up against the salary cap yet again and re-signing him, especially with Tony Romo possibly getting a new deal as well, could make it hard for the Cowboys to dole out a worthy contract for Spencer.
While Spencer will likely test the free-agent market in March, the Cowboys could always give him the franchise tag once again to retain his negotiating rights.
Regardless where he signs, Spencer has earned a big contract with a career season of 11 sacks. And the honors might not be over for Spencer, who ranked fourth in the NFC in sacks and quite possibly could be an alternate for the Pro Bowl roster.