Jerry Intrigued By Edge Rushers In The Draft

On any and all personnel questions, Cowboys high-ups have said no decisions have been made as of this week - not with Terence Newman, Laurent Robinson, Abe Elam, Bradie James or Keith Brooking.

And especially not with Anthony Spencer. The free agent outside linebacker may or may not get the franchise tag by March 5, or he could work out a long-term deal before hitting the open market on March 13.

Whether Spencer is on the team or not, though, Jerry Jones made it clear that the Cowboys' biggest defensive need is for more pass rush.

"For defense, I'm into the pressure for us right now, above the corner, even if we franchise Spencer," Jones said. "I think we've got some good players in the secondary, though we need another good player there, and we don't need to be cavalier about passing on a significant pass-rusher in a draft.

"On the other hand, I think we've got better than it's perceived in Spencer as a potential pressure player. And we've got a guy that may not be the edge-setter that Spencer has been, but is very capable of coming in here and fulfilling the second pass-rusher on most downs that are passing situations, that's (Victor) Butler."

In the changing landscape of the NFL, where three quarterbacks threw for over 5,000 yards last year, Jones said pass rushing is more important for the front seven than run stopping. He wasn't sure an elite pass-rusher would fall to the Cowboys at No. 14 overall, but thought there were a number of pressure players who would be picked in the first two rounds.

Jones said he believes Spencer could be better as a pass-rusher if the Cowboys' scheme were different, if he weren't usually playing the run first or dropping into coverage in the flats.

But he also thinks Spencer could've gotten more sacks the way the defense operated in 2011.

"To his credit, he did get pressure," Jones said. "To our satisfaction against the teams that we really need to defense better, the Philadelphias, the Giants, to our satisfaction? No. Not just Spencer, but in general we didn't."

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