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May 07, 2014

Hatcher says Cowboys avoided 'devastating' loss of leadership by re-signing Spencer

Jason Hatcher says the Cowboys made a big move by re-signing Anthony Spencer, because without him, their defensive line would have suffered a “devastating” loss of leadership.

“You need that D-line leader. They got that in Spencer,” said Hatcher, who led the Cowboys in sacks last year but signed a free agent contract with the Washington Redskins. “That was a big pickup for them.”

The Cowboys also lost their all-time sack leader, DeMarcus Ware, in free agency. If Spencer had not returned, the Cowboys’ most experienced lineman would have been free agent signee Henry Melton, and none would have worn a Cowboys uniform for more than two years.

Hatcher, who is hosting a fundraiser with Strikes for Kids at Alley Cats in Arlington on Thursday night, said Valley Ranch is the best place personally and professionally for Spencer, who missed all but one game last year because of knee surgery.

Spencer, a first round pick in 2007, played each of the last two years on franchise deals with the Cowboys but apparently did not find a suitable offer in free agency.

“You know, he just had a baby. He’s building a house. It was a great opportunity for him,” Hatcher said. “It’s great for the D-line, as well, because they’ll have that veteran guy in the room. It would have been devastating if everybody would have been gone. Just having him there, to show them the way, how to work hard every day, he’ll set the foundation for the D-line.

“So it was a great pickup for those guys.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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