Ok, here’s the deal. I have been an avid supporter of Anthony Spencer throughout this entire offseason when everyone said he was over paid etc. Have you ever heard the expression there is nothing worse than a “woman scorned”? Welcome to my world!
When I saw the tweet from Dallas Cowboys staff writer Josh Ellis on Monday stating that Anthony was not reporting to valley ranch for the voluntary team work outs my blood began to boil! In fact, earlier, (prior to seeing the tweet) I made this post in response to a Q&A article on none other than Anthony Spencer!
Everyone is under the same disillusion created by the media that the Cowboys need a pass rusher to compliment ware and base what Spencer has done solely on sacks. Anyone who is in- the- know how a 3-4 defensive scheme really works,,, comprehends that Spencer gets a bad rap. As the strong side outside linebacker he only rushes the passer 25-40% of the time.Ware as the weak side OLB rushes anywhere between 65-90% of the time depending on the offense they are up against. So, it is unfair to compare what he does to Wares production. In fact, if you look league wide, Spencer is either 1st or tied for 1st in every major category among strong side OLB’s. His primary function is to play the run and drop in to coverage. If the Cowboys were to switch Spencer and Ware around,,,,, everyone would be saying Ware is underachieving and over paid.
The problem with the Cowboys pass rush is only 25% of the sacks come from the DL. Even a smaller percentage of hurries and tackles for loss. Compared to 40-60% by the better defensive teams around the league. What happens to the Cowboys, due to the DL’s inability to collapse the pocket, is the QB is able to step up in to the pocket which shields him from the edge rush by Ware and Spencer. The function of the 3-4 defense is for the DL to collapse the pocket and force the QB out in to the path of the OLB’s. Beef up the DL and the pass rush problem is solved. It is not Spencer. You can’t blame a guy who is rushing the passer about half as often as the other guy. I am not saying he is as good as Demarcus Ware, but hey the only guy in the NFL that really gives ware a run is Jared Allen.
I am standing pat with the points I made in that post, but,,, I have lost all respect for Anthony Spencer as a person and a football player. There was also recent news that Spencer hired a new agent in hopes of securing a long term deal. I can understand Spencer wanting some security for the future of himself and his family. However, I wanted to look at this from a coaches point of view. Everyone has a mentor, a go to person so to speak to get their input from. Mine happens to be coach dad. After all, he is responsible for most of the football knowledge I currently have. When I asked him about the situation his reply was:
“As a football coach the main thing you want is for a guy to be a “Team First” type of player. There is no “I” in team. Here you have a player who admittedly took plays off trying to bully the organization in to breaking out the checkbook so to speak.(With no regard for the teams salary cap issues that were only increased by the leagues $10 million cap penalty). My theory is, there is not a guy on the roster who can’t be replaced. It’s not like he isn’t getting paid. He is guaranteed $8.8 million. That in itself would secure the entire future of any working mans family. What he has shown me, is he doesn’t care about the “TEAM” or even winning for that matter. This is all about a pay check to him.”
” To me as a coach, that type of mentality is a poison to his younger teammates. If nothing else, I would be quicker to give him what he wants if he had showed up and was willing to make the sacrifice for the team. There are plenty of hungry young players who would be grateful for the opportunity to play for the Dallas Cowboys. I say trade him and draft his replacement. Every year rookies start at the NFL level and do quite well. It should always be a “Team First” guy.”
I have to agree with my dad. In light of the input I got from him I got to thinking about the pros and cons of trading him. The pros are, as a franchised player he is worth 2 draft picks. That gives the Cowboys 2 shots at replacing him above and beyond the 8 draft picks they already have. If Jerry Jones cant find a starting caliber OLB with 10 draft picks he needs to resign as the General Manager.
Trading him would also free up $8.8 million in cap space. That in itself is enough to sign at least 2 starting quality veteran free agent players. The other pro is the fact that if he signs with another team, being that he was a 1st round draft pick, the Cowboys will get a decent compensatory pick for him next year. The only con I could think of was the chance that the replacement isn’t as good. If I have to weigh this out, the way I see it, 3 draft picks and the ability to sign 2 starting players with the freed up cap space makes the decision a no-brainer. I would like to consider this article a poll. Please take a moment and let me know below if you want to trade Spencer or keep him.