IRVING, Texas – Coming off a career season, Anthony Spencer is undoubtedly headed toward a major contract here in free agency.
And the price tag might have gone up a few bucks Friday, when it was announced Spencer has made his first career Pro Bowl.
Spencer is replacing Green Bay outside linebacker Clay Matthews. In fact, he is the second outside linebacker to recently be named to the Pro Bowl after Minnesota's Chad Greenway replaced DeMarcus Ware, who pulled out of the game after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Spencer had a career-high 11 sacks, including many in clutch situations in the fourth quarter. In addition, he led the team with 106 tackles, also a personal best. Spencer's 26 quarterback pressures ranked second on the squad behind Ware (33).
The Cowboys are now expected to have two representatives once again for this year's Pro Bowl with Spencer joining tight end Jason Witten, who is expected to back up Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez. Witten could end up starting if the Falcons head to the Super Bowl.
If the 49ers win on Sunday, it means nine players who made the Pro Bowl would need to be replaced.
An unrestricted free agent to be, Spencer will get to test the open market in free agency. He was given an $8.8 million franchise tag last year to remain with the Cowboys, who still have the option to franchise him again, although the price would be $10.63 million.
The Cowboys are already over the salary cap currently without including Spencer, so to make enough room to get under, and then sign Spencer will take some creativity. Still, it's not out of the question. With the Cowboys now moving to Monte Kiffin's 4-3 scheme, it could change their outlook on Spencer, or make him even more of a priority.
But whoever signs him, that team won't be signing just Anthony Spencer. It will be Pro Bowler Anthony Spencer.