Earlier this week, the Dallas Cowboys lost All-Pro defensive end Anthony Spencer for the season due to a continued problem with his left knee. Spencer has now elected to have microfracture surgery to repair the injury. And exactly what type of player he’ll be after he returns next year is still in question. The more immediate question is how will the Cowboys replace his potential production and will his loss mean more losses for Dallas this season?
In Spencer’s absence, journeyman defensive end George Selvie has filled in admirably. He’s recorded seven tackles and two sacks in the first three games of the season. His play has helped the Cowboys defense, under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, rank as one of the best in the NFL. A lot of credit has to be given to defensive line coach Rob Marinelli as well, who has taken players essentially off the streets and coached them up enough to fill in for All-Pros. But it is also a defense that could have been much better with Spencer.
Last season was Spencer’s best by far. After five seasons of lackluster play, the former first round pick set career highs in tackles (95) and sacks (11) in 2012 leading to his very first Pro Bowl invitation. Over the offseason, Spencer was moved from outside linebacker to defensive end as part of the Cowboys switch the the 4-3 defense. This was considered an upgrade for Spencer who played this position while at Purdue. The combination of him and future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware as bookends on this defensive line was to become the things quarterback’s nightmares are made of.
Now, the Cowboys face the future without Spencer. How much does this one player effect the Win/Loss column? Will Spencer’s absence mean more losses this season for the Cowboys? Let us know what you think below: