Marcus Spears' eight-year run in Dallas is over.
The Cowboys designated the defensive end as a post-June 1 cut, meaning they will get no salary-cap relief now. They still are only $175,000 under the cap, keeping them on the sideline in free agency. (They would have saved only $600,000 if they had released Spears now and not designated him as a post-June 1 cut.)
Spears, the 20th overall pick in 2005, was scheduled to make $2 million in 2013 in the third year of a five-year deal and would have counted $2.7 million against the salary cap. His release in June will save the Cowboys $2 million this season, though he will count $700,000 in dead money. Spears will count $1.4 million against the team's cap in 2014.
Spears tweeted his release Wednesday, saying, "Fans of Dallas thank u all so much for 8 yrs the good and bad times ill be moving on!! The support has been tremendous! From my family thx. Guys don't be sad for me please! I've been blessed beyond measure! Everything you do in life is for a season except for family!"
Spears started 89 games in his career, making 314 tackles, 10 sacks, 50 quarterback pressures and four forced fumbles. But he did not fit the 4-3 defense the Cowboys are moving to under Monte Kiffin.
The Cowboys have another post-June 1 designation they could use, and right tackle Doug Free is a candidate. Free is scheduled to make $7 million and count $10 million against the cap in 2013.
-- Charean Williams