Would you Rather: Upgrade the Offensive Line or Resign Anthony Spencer?

Would you rather? – Always a fun game to play with family and friends. Making tough decisions between two things can tell you a lot about a person and their priorities. In this case:

Do you value the offensive line or the defensive line more?

Will an addition to the offensive line make up for the subtraction of Spencer on the defensive line?

Are you more confident in a position change for Spencer or are you more confident you can find good-fit free agent on the offensive line?

Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

You can word questions every which way but no matter how you look at it, this is a tough question to answer. And no, you cannot say, “Do both”. That answer is not acceptable to the game and frankly not very likely in reality.

The Cowboys are roughly $18M over the cap in 2013 so after some expected house cleaning they will be limited to what they can do in free agency. Spencer played like a top 5 OLB in the NFL last year.

The top OLB’s in the NFL make around $9M per year. It’s safe to assume Anthony is expecting something north of that in the $10M range. If the Cowboys resign Spencer to a deal like that they will have nothing left over to throw at an established offensive lineman in free agency.

If the Cowboys clear cap space (most easily done by extending Tony Romo) and decide to roll the dice and let Spencer walk, is there any guarantee a marque offensive lineman is even available in free agency? Word out of Denver is Ryan Clady (top offensive tackle on the market) will be franchised if a long-term deal is not reached. Will Andre Smith, Sebastian Vollmer, Will Beatty, Phil Loadholt even be available? After looking into each of them the answer is – Probably not. Their respective teams all have intensions to resign them and hinted (or outright stated) their willingness to use the franchise tag. So, with these top lineman off the market who is left?

Nov 24, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins tackle Jake Long (77) blocks against Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) on Thanksgiving day at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The remaining top offensive lineman expected to hit the market are OT Jake Long, OT Branden Albert, OT Gosder Cherilus, and OG Andy Levitre. Are they worth dumping Anthony Spencer for? Keep in mind, letting Anthony test free agency doesn’t guarantee Dallas can sign anyone. The Cowboys could possibly let Spencer go and still not get an offensive lineman. It also wouldn’t keep them from eventually resigning Spencer if he didn’t like what he saw in free agency.

No Guarantees

Bringing in a free agent OL doesn’t guarantee they will be a good fit with the current unit and Bill Callahan’s zone blocking scheme. Resigning Anthony Spencer doesn’t guarantee he will be a good fit for the strong side DE in Monte Kiffin’s new defense. If Spencer is resigned he’s going to get paid like a top DE but the move will be a gamble

What would YOU rather?

Resign Anthony Spencer or upgrade the offensive line?

Topics: Anthony Spencer, Dallas Cowboys, Jake Long, Nfl Free Agency

Want more from The Landry Hat?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • BRIAN

    YOU CAN DO BOTH…. YOU THINKING FREE AGENCY…IM THINKING KEEP SPENCER AND MAKE HIM REALIZE HE AIN’T PLAYING OLB ANY MORE AND IF HE CAN DEAL WITH 6 MILLI A YEAR (AND THAT’S PUSHING IT) THEN HE CAN WALK…DRAFTING A O LINEMAN IN THE FIRST OR TRADE UP TO EARLY SECOND ROUND IS A MUST ANYWAY. THIS TEAM HAS TO KEEP GETTING YOUNGER AND STOP PATCHWORKING A TEAM THAT NEEDS LONG TERM SOLUTIONS BY BUILDING FROM THE DRAFT.

    • Troy Spurlock

      I agree

    • ctcowboy1968

      I agree with you that the team needs to get better thru the draft. Younger, faster, better, cheaper. We have got to get out of the team salary structure hell that JJ has built.
      I do not believe that both can be done. The Boys don’t have the cap to do it all. Spencer isn’t going to take a pay cut and plenty of other teams will be offering him more than $10 million per year. We should go thru the process, but not pay more than we can afford.
      Restructure Tony and Miles. Keep Rat one more year out of shear need for the position. Sign FA Chris Ivory as the #2 RB. Draft OL and DL all day long. Proven big program OL and DL. No more small school players that never get on the game field.

  • http://twitter.com/Dboyz62 David Perez

    Upgrade O-Line

  • ‘mericas_team2013

    SImple, Let Spencer go. He is getting too old and going to be asking too much money to change position and get a big contract, from Dallas anyway. He shouldve been resigned last season IMHO, but hey… Use any money left to get a true 43 DE who is capable of starting and let him rotate with Ware, Crawford and whoever else currently on the team is in the mix.

  • http://twitter.com/OldFrog75 Old Frog

    Spencer is not the only one. Miles Austin and Jay Ratliff are also past their prime and are injured reserves waiting to happen. Upgrade O-line.

  • californy

    Spencer will cost 10 million plus, Our whole 2013 Draft class along with 10 undrafted FA class will cost under 10 million. So who has more value 16 players or 1 player who will be 29 this year

  • californy

    You cant do both, you need to take a course in basic math.

  • ctcowboy1968

    Everyone listed below has the same answer: OL. I agree. Is a DE worth 10 million a year?
    Californy is spot on. 16 players are more important than 1 for the same $$. If the right players are selected, then they will have more impact than Spencer.
    Sheldon Richardson (DT, 1st rd) and Larry Warford (G, 3rd rd) could be day 1 starters and big contributors in 2013.

7 hours ago

Dallas Cowboys Fans Are Anxious For The Draft

11 hours ago

Cowboys 2014 Draft: The Safety Prospect No One Is Talking About

1 day ago

Dallas Cowboys Shouldn’t Worry About Offense