Dallas placed the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer on Monday, guaranteeing a solid starter more than $10 million. It's the second consecutive year Spencer received the tag. The team is keeping Spencer despite the fact the Cowboys are changing schemes. An average pass rusher who is solid against the run in the 3-4 scheme, Spencer will have to play defensive end at 250 pounds.
Spencer is a fine contributor. We had him listed as the No. 19 overall free agent this year. But he doesn't make sense at this salary for a team like the Cowboys that is so tight to the cap. (Partly because they are keeping overpaid players like Jay Ratliff.) If the Cowboys were so desperate to keep Spencer, they should have signed him long term to lower his cap number.
Signing the wrong players long term has been a longtime Cowboys issue. Dallas releasedGerald Sensabaugh on Monday, another in a long line of failed long-term safety signings. (Remember Roy Williams' second contract? Ken Hamlin?) Overpaying their own guys is a consistent issue; tackle Doug Free is a great current example.
Jones spends a lot of time hyping his own players to the public. Too often, Jones-the-general-manager falls for the hype of Jones-the-owner.