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Anthony Spencer trade a possibility for Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys raised eyebrows Monday when they used their franchise tag on linebacker Anthony Spencer for a second consecutive year.

For a team dealing with substantial salary-cap issues, it was a surprising move. Around The League colleague Gregg Rosenthal thought it was classic Cowboys ... and he didn't mean it as a compliment.

Now we're learning the Cowboys could have other plans for Spencer. Citing a team source,'s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday on "NFL Total Access" that Dallas is open to trading Spencer and his $10.6 million salary if a suitor presents itself.

Spencer would figure to have some value on the open market. He's coming off the best season of his career (11 sacks, 95 tackles) and teams always will have interest in defenders who know how to get to the quarterback. That said, Spencer is 29 and will want a multiyear commitment with any team that gets him.

If the Cowboys can't find a dancing partner, they still can try to work out a more cap-friendly agreement with Spencer. If not, Spencer will have to settle for a second (well-compensated) audition for a long-term deal.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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