Dec 17, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) in action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

UPDATE: Dallas Cowboys Have Franchised Anthony Spencer

UPDATE: Shortly after the original post below regarding the Dallas Cowboys having yet to hang the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer. NFL reporter Jason La Confora is reporting via twitter that the Dallas Cowboys have franchised outside linbacker Anthony Spencer and will continue to work out a longer term deal allowing Dallas to target defensive backs in free agency.

For the most part Anthony Spencer drops into coverage twice as often as DeMarcus Ware does. Spencer was second at his position in stops at or behind the line last season. Spencer sets the edge and usually fulfills his assignment especially in the run game.

Anthony Spencer by in large performs his assigned duties in the Rob Ryan coached defense. Does Anthony Spencer always maintain his focus on the football field?

Most fans wouldn’t agree. The only knock on the guy which has been a knock on the guy for the past couple of seasons, is that in critical times of a given game either Spencer is flagged for a bumbling penalty or the lack of making a drive stopping play in the most critical of times.

Most will remember last years game against the New England Patriots. Anthony Spencer was flagged twice in critical situations giving the ball back toNew Englandin both instances.

Is this the type of play that warrants $8.8 million for a season?

Apparently a concern regarding depth issues at the position and the Jones’ propensity to over pay for mediocre play is what will lead to the latest move of franchising Anthony Spencer.

While during the 2011 NFL campaign Spencer’s numbers: 66 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 6 sacks were better than both Clay Matthews Jr.’s stats: 50 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 6 sacks, 3 INT’s and LaMarr Woodley’s stats: 39 tackles, 0 forced fumbles, 8 sacks.

Over the span of Spencer’s career his defensive output in regards to total tackles by in large lead both of these young linebackers but his sack numbers dwarf both Matthews’ and Woodley’s tremendously. This seems to support the notion that Anthony Spencer is a better run stopper than pass rusher.

There is no question the situation requires attention and regardless of whether or not one agrees with Spencer staying or being allowed to leave the situation ends up being a “good and bad” situation.

The Dallas Cowboys have until three o’clock, central standard time, this afternoon to give the former first round pick a substantial raise otherwise the twenty-eight year old linebacker will hit the open free-agent market and the Cowboys will then be left with either Victor Butler being the future opposite DeMarcus Ware of a need to also address the outside linebacker position via the upcoming NFL or via free agency.

Dallas Cowboys beat writer, Clarence Hill Jr., tweeted that Anthony Spencer’s agent Roosevelt Barnes says it looks like the Cowboys are going to franchise the linebacker sometime this afternoon.

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Tags: #mockone Anthony Spencer Clay Matthews Jr. Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Jason La Confora LaMarr Woodley NFL

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