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News: PFW: Free-agent scouting report: Cowboys OLB Anthony Spencer

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    Posted March 04, 2012 @ 9:56 a.m. ET
    By Eric Edholm

    This is the 30th in a series of scouting reports on key players who are expected to become free agents March 13, unless they are re-signed or franchised before then.

    News: At age 28, Cowboys OLB Anthony Spencer is in the prime of his career and should attract attention from the increasing number of teams running 3-4 defenses in the NFL. He has shown a strong ability to dislodge the football (10 forced fumbles, including four in 2011, in five NFL seasons) and is considered one of the best run-defending players at his position. The problem is that he has not produced nearly enough sacks — especially not compared to bookend OLB DeMarcus Ware. But the Cowboys still could place the franchise tag on him, as they have no full-time options on the roster to replace him.

    Positives: Spencer is a strong-leveraged, stack-and-shed outside linebacker who can play in a rush (three-point) stance or standing up. He can drop in coverage, mark tight ends and backs, is athletic and he moves well laterally. Spencer has good arm length, natural strength and leverage. He can set the edge against the run and often funnels tackles inside to ILBs Sean Lee and Bradie James.

    Negatives: Spencer never has been a great finisher in the backfield with limited pass-rush moves and countermoves. He gives good but not consistently great effort. He can get washed up by bigger tackles and will struggle to sustain good pad level. Spencer is not a big enough playmaker at a position that warrants it.

    Read the rest: http://www.profootballweekly.com/2012/03/04/free-agent-scouting-report-cowboys-olb-anthony-spe
  2. AMERICAS_FAN

    AMERICAS_FAN Active Member

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    I'm getting tired of the criticism of Spencer. The knock is always about not getting enough sacks, yet he ranks 4th in the NFL in sack from his side of the OLB position. And if you study the tape what you'll notice is that opposing QBs release the ball early on Dallas specifically to avoid the rush and the sack. And teams can consistenyltly do that to Dallas because our DBs play off because they get beat at the line when playing press coverage. But that's Spencer's fault too, right?
  3. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    They release the ball too quick for Spencer to get sacks yet Ware manages 19???

    Spencer is an average player nothing more. He has very high snap totals and plays across form the best pure pass rusher in football so whining for his "dire" circumstances is pretty funny.

    BTW, I am actually a relative fan and for signing him long term. But this is a fair scouting report. He has 17 sacks across the past 3 years. He does cover and tackle in the flat but he has 1 INT so isn't a ball hawk type. He is solid but not a playmaker over his career.

    He did have an elite stretch toward the end of 2009. It just didn't continue.
  4. Wood

    Wood Well-Known Member

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    Spencer is a run stopped DE. You don't need to pay 9 million for that. Marginal players getting tagged - only in Dallas.
  5. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    That's it right there.

    Next!
  6. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    Why would you be for signing a player long term if you think they're average?
  7. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was pretty fair in pointing out his strengths and flaws.
  8. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    Average can get the job done so long as the team knows he's average, doesn't spend too much on him and fills in the other holes.

    If Spencer were to get contract that matched what you expect out of him, I wouldn't be upset because it would be significantly cheaper than 9M in cap hit.
  9. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    Because you aren't going to have 22 stars on a roster.
    Spencer has value here. It just isnt at 9 million.

    Even if we draft Ingram at 14 which I'd love... Spencer still has value as our run stopping down OLB and as a rotational guy.
  10. mmillman

    mmillman Well-Known Member

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    sacks are important but I get tired of watching Spencer's spin move that constantly takes him out of plays to his side.
  11. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    Average isn't good enough at OLB in a 3-4. That's a playmaking impact position. I'll take average when I have to. You draft a guy, he doesn't pan out. He's merely average for the life of his first contract. But I'm not extending him for more of the same. What's the goal here? To be average?
  12. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    It's not about having 22 stars. It's about only devoting significant FA dollars on extension of players who actually make you better and are assets for the future. These are your core guys. Spencer doesn't warrant that distinction. He is what you say he is. Average. A ham and egger.

    I don't see the value at all. When you run a 3-4 defense and have only one legit threat off the edges, your defense is fatally flawed. You've lost the confusion the 3-4 design creates. Everybody knows who's coming and where to slide protection. Which is why you read how Dallas basically operates as a 4-3 under defense.

    There are two huge issues with our defense and neither have anything to do with the secondary. Jay Ratliff and Anthony Spencer. One's playing out of position, the other isn't good enough to be on the field in this scheme. If you don't have a legit wide bodied NT to clog up the inside and two active players off the edge, you can't run a 3-4 defense.

    Unless you want to be average.
  13. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Spencer is not a big enough playmaker at a position that warrants it.


    that says it all
  14. SMCowboy

    SMCowboy Active Member

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    The 3-4 SOLB position is NOT a play makers position.

    You don't get 15+ sacks a year out of your SOLB in a 3-4 defense. Even the best SOLB in the league LaMarr Woodley has a career high of only 13.5 sacks. All other SOLB's average around 7 to 9 sacks a year.

    As for you the idea that you have to have two dynamic OLB's to rush the passer if you don't want to have an average defense. Tell that to the Baltimore Ravens.

    The Baltimore Raven's top SOLB is Jarret Johnson, and he had a whooping 2.5 sacks last year, and they finished 3rd in the league in points allowed per game.

    Or what about the San Francisco 49ers, they finished 2nd in the league in points allowed per game, and their stating SOLB Ahmaad Brooks had a grand total of 7 sacks last year.
  15. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Active Member

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    My biggest gripe with Spencer is I just don't believe he has the heart of a champion. The Hard Knocks episode pointed that out and he's never done anything to disprove it.

    He's just one of those guys going through the motions collecting a paycheck.
    We've got way too many of them on this team and giving him a huge one year deal is not the way to address that problem.

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