The Cowboys gave outside linebacker Anthony Spencer the franchise tag Monday. Spencer is guaranteed $8.8 million in 2012. Dallas has franchised only two players previously, and the team worked out new deals for Ken Hamlin and Flozell Adams before the season.
So should the Cowboys give Spencer a long-term deal?
Cast your vote, or post in the comments below.
Clarence E. Hill Jr., writer: No, I would tag him and give him one more year to produce. If he doesn't, then I would cut bait. I would still draft a pass rusher in first three rounds. You can never have too many, and you would have his replacement if you let him walk next year.
Charean Williams, writer: Not no, but heck no. I realize Spencer is only 28. I know he is good against the run. I realize he is always in the lineup, having started all 16 games the past three seasons, and I understand there aren't many options this year. But 21.5 sacks in five seasons? That says it all. This league, as I've said many times on here, is about the quarterback and pass rushers. If you don't have them, you're not going to win consistently. The Texans didn't have a lot of options outside of Mario Williams at outside linebacker going into the 2011 season, and they seem to have done all right by drafting them. The Cowboys need to spend a high draft pick on an outside linebacker that Spencer understands they are grooming to replace them. Then, see what happens....
Carlos Mendez, writer: They shouldn't give him a long-term deal. Spencer can make plays, and he has here and there. But for the life of a four- or five-year deal? That's a long-shot bet right now. This is a player you need to keep on a short leash. One year, two years, to keep him motivated. That's the challenge here for the Cowboys. They have to keep fire in this guy's belly. A franchise tag might sound like a reward in his mind. He might get to thinking he's made it. The Cowboys don't need an Anthony Spencer who thinks he's at the mountaintop.
David Humphrey, editor: Yes. Anthony Spencer might not be spectacular, but his play doesn't lose games, and he has a lot of potential. Giving him a long-term deal keeps the Cowboys from guessing on unknowns. Also, owner/general manager Jerry Jones has paid a lot of money for potential in the past, so why stop now?