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September 25, 2013

Jones says Cowboys operated as if they weren't going to have Spencer, so they have a jump on absorbing his loss

Jerry Jones said the Cowboys have been operating as if they weren’t going to have Anthony Spencer this year, so losing him has not knocked the team off stride.

“The only good light here is the fact that we’ve been playing without Anthony, and our coaching staff, with Rod and certainly Monte, has made this adjustment for the first three ballgames and most of our preseason,” Jones said Wednesday. “So we have been bringing personnel in and evaluating personnel and continuing as though we weren’t going to have Spencer. And so we’re ahead of it from where we would’ve been had this just happened here and he got hurt in Kansas City.”

The Cowboys placed Spencer, their leading tackler from a year ago, on injured reserve Wednesday. He needs microfracture surgery on his knee and is expected to be in rehab until January or February.

The Cowboys brought in another defensive lineman this week, former LSU tackle Drake Nevis, and Jones credited Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli for making do with what they are getting.

“The quality of the people that are doing the coaching and doing that taking of the slack, as far as showing players that might not be of the stature of Spencer but showing them how to get out there and help us win ballgames, all of that is in progress and been going on and been really going on since training camp,” Jones said. “So we’re ahead of the game here in terms of trying to find out how we’re going to make it work.”

Jones said the Cowboys will miss Spencer’s character as much as his talent.

“We don’t have anybody that is of a higher substance than him as a ballplayer,” Jones said. “He’s conscientious. You cannot keep him off the field. He has been exemplary in his rehab work. He pays attention to every aspect of his game, his diet. You guys have been around him, but he’s the consummate pro, and I know that he can get back into it and have a successful surgery and hope for that and resume that career.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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