News: Breaking Down the ‘Boys: Should the Cowboys give Anthony Spencer a long-term deal?

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by RS12, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    In the preseason, I published five bold predictions for the 2012 Cowboys defense. Number one on that list was that outside linebacker Anthony Spencer—a player who didn’t cross the six-sack barrier in his first five seasons in the league—would produce at least nine sacks.

    In an article I wrote that predicted 2012 team sacks, I noted that most players’ sacks add up to about 25 percent of their pressures over the long-run. Sure, some players are better than average at bringing down the quarterback once they’re in range, but they generally don’t deviate too much from that number. Even DeMarcus Ware’s sack rate over the past three years is around 28 percent.

    So what does this have to do with Spencer? Well, the outside linebacker has reached the quarterback quite a bit over the past few seasons—actually, he’s done it just as much as the NFL’s top pass rushers. Since 2009, Spencer has averaged the same number of pressures as the league’s top 15 outside linebackers (and more quarterback hits), but fewer sacks.

    Spencer’s career sack rate is only 20 percent, meaning even if he reaches the quarterback at the same rate in 2012, he’ll probably register a career-high in sacks simply because he’s unlikely to continue his string of poor luck.

    I’ve long considered Spencer to be one of the most underrated players on the team. Fans often misunderstand his role on the defense, which in 2012 includes dropping into coverage on 34.9 percent of pass plays. The fact that Spencer has already recorded 10 sacks is pretty remarkable; his 3.6 percent sack rate is actually right in line with DeMarcus Ware’s 3.7 percent rate.

    After the season, the Cowboys will inevitably face the difficult decision of whether or not to give Spencer a long-term deal. The positives are clear enough; Spencer is perhaps the top run-defending outside linebacker in the NFL and he’s a good (but not great) pass-rusher opposite Ware.

    The problem is that Spencer will be coming off of an outlying season in terms of sacks. Remember, since pass-rushers tend to sack the quarterback at a rate that’s consistent with their pressures, players who record abnormally high or low sack rates are highly likely to regress toward the mean in subsequent seasons. That’s one reason that it was rather easy to project a career-high in sacks for Spencer.

  2. CowboysYanksLakers

    CowboysYanksLakers Well-Known Member

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    I would franchise tag him again as well...
  3. ravidubey

    ravidubey Active Member

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    How could they afford it? And once he's paid, I doubt he repeats what he's done of late.
  4. Wood

    Wood Well-Known Member

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    I think Jerry will get some resistance from Spencer if he attempts to franchise him. He will be 30 next year and if he were to sustain and injury...he would be in very bad spot. I think he gets big contract from Jets.
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    I have always been suspicious of the pressure stat.

    What is pressure to ONE qb may not be pressure to another
  6. Manwiththeplan

    Manwiththeplan Well-Known Member

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    did you not read the article or just dismiss it because this was the POV you've had the entire time?
  7. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    they'll try and sign him long term. If they can't they'll tag him.
  8. junk

    junk I've got moxie

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    Spencer will be 29 for the bulk of next season. He turns 29 on January 23....he's only 28 now.
  9. 187beatdown

    187beatdown Lack of Big Plays

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    Why do you say that? You think he's going to slack off?

    I'm not sure I would risk letting go a reliable pass rusher and a dominant run defender for a hunch.
  10. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    a career year after 5

    think about that

    what evidence IS there that he will be as good next year as he was this year?

    After 5 years when he was not?
  11. Trendnet

    Trendnet Active Member

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    That's if you go with the false premise that he wasn't good his first 5 years.
  12. fanfromvirginia

    fanfromvirginia Inconceivable!

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    He was good (if uneven) his first five years and this year he's been great. The dilemma is do you pay 'great' money for a player who might 'only' be good?

    I'm not saying you don't sign him. He really has been great this year at a very important position but I think it's a very real dilemma given his age and the probability that his market value may be quite high.
  13. RXP

    RXP Well-Known Member

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    If Jerry franchises him again, he'll be in a bad spot? Really?

    He got $8.9M this year. If they franchise him again he'll get around $11M

    That's almost $20M in 2 years. That's more money than most people makes in 2 lifetimes. And that's not including the money he's already made since he's turned pro.

    If he's sustains an injury, he'll be just fine assuming he has 2 brain cells to rub together. But if he blows all that money and he sustains an injury, please don't tell me to feel sorry for him.

    He in a bad spot? I'd give me left arm to be in his spot right now. But I wasn't blessed with his talents.
  14. Fletch

    Fletch To The Moon

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    This, or just pay the man. I will be pissed if we lose Anthony Spencer. He is a home-grown, very under-appreciated player on this team. Just extend his contract.

    Stupid to let him walk. Finding a replacement with Spencer's talent will be extremely difficult.

    We want to ascend, not descend!
  15. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    No kidding. We're finally getting pressure from our base defense, with room to upgrade readily at both DE and NT. With our physical corners and help on the way (hopefully) to the S position...why would we poke a massive hole in the lineup? That just doesn't make any sense.

    I think the primary reason why some are suggesting it is they didn't want to resign Spencer back in the offseason when we could have gotten it done without paying a huge premium. Not seeing a lot of good reasons to not resign a very good player, otherwise.
  16. Teague31

    Teague31 Defender of the Star

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    If you let him walk its another hole we have to fill
  17. Manwiththeplan

    Manwiththeplan Well-Known Member

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    A rather large and important hole.
  18. btcutter

    btcutter Well-Known Member

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    That's FA.
  19. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    This is precisely the type of thinking that has Dallas in the exact same position they were in last year.

    What do you do, franchise him until he retires?

    A long term deal now will cost significantly more than last year. They missed their chance last year, IMO

    It'd be awesome to get him dirt cheap but not likely.

    Do you create a hole? Yes.

    Can you fill more holes than if you pay him? Yes.

    It's not like Dallas doesn't have other needs. Limited cap space, you gotta make decisions somewhere.
  20. Idgit

    Idgit That sounds really boring Staff Member

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    I agree that we should have signed him much earlier.

    But this part:

    I'm not sure you can fill the hole his leaving would create elsewhere. We're able to get significant pressure right now with our down 3 and our OLBs. That might not be the case with a replacement, and you certainly can't count on it.

    What other positions need addressing? And how snug do we end up being against the cap? We need an OT, a serviceable OG, and another S, on top of what we can find in the draft to add depth generally from the 3rd round of the draft and below. That's not too tall an order in an off season depending what we can do to free up space under the current cap.

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