Spencer Optimistic To Return Before Sept. 7 Opener


OXNARD, Calif. -The Cowboys have signed a lot of players this summer who have plenty of question marks surrounding them for a plethora of reasons.

Taking fliers on guys such as Brandon Weeden, Rolando McClain, Ryan Williams and Amobi Okoye, the Cowboys can only hope these players can either resurrect their careers or finally meet lofty expectations.

Anthony Spencer can be included in that group as well.

While the Cowboys are the only team he's ever played for, they did have to re-sign him as an unrestricted free agent this summer, knowing his timetable to return from a microfracture knee injury will be close to the start of the regular season.

Spencer said Sunday that he's both realistically and optimistically hoping to come back before that. Still, Spencer said he can envision himself playing in the season opener Sept. 7 against the 49ers.

"I hope so. I hope to be back before the first game," Spencer said. "I hope some time around there. It's hard to say now. We've got time and not trying to rush things."

It was about this time a year ago when Spencer first starting feeling the pain in his knee, which led to a minor scope. He missed the preseason and first game before playing in Week 2 against the Chiefs. However that proved to be the only game he played all season. That's all the Cowboys got out of giving Spencer a $10.6 million franchise tag, which he received for the second straight year.

This offseason, the Cowboys let Spencer test the free-agent market in March and he actually visited two NFC East teams – the Redskins and Giants. But he eventually re-signed with the Cowboys in late April for a one-year deal that can be worth up to $3.5 million, depending on his playing time.  [embedded_ad]

Spencer said he is encouraged by the improvements he sees daily in his rehab work here in Oxnard.

"If I just keep working the way I'm working, I feel like we'll be in a good place," Spencer said. "Lifting heavier weights. I run little more. I just add a little more to my workout regime every day. It's getting better."

Spencer works with both the athletic training staff, which has rehabbed a few microfracture injuries in the past, as well as the strength and conditioning staff. Spencer pointed out conditioning coach Mike Woicik has experience rehabbing the injury as well.

"I keep to myself for the most part," Spencer said. "I listen to what they say, but at the same time, I listen to myself and my body, too. I'm being patient. I know the time will come when I'll get back out there. I'm just working on the things I can to get better. I'm not trying to think too much about that."

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