The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Spencer last week, giving him a one-year, $10.6 million contract. Dallas is $177,005 under the salary cap for 2013, according to Archer, and if it can agree to a long-term deal with Spencer, that would help free up more cap space.
Dallas selected Spencer with the 26th-overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, and he's been a significant contributor on defense ever since. He had a breakout year in 2012, totaling 95 tackles, 11 sacks and seven tackles for loss. Spencer's tackle and sack numbers easily set career-best marks. His previous career high in tackles was 67 in 2009, and he had twice recorded six sacks in a season. Spencer's performance in 2012 earned him his first Pro Bowl appearance.
With the Cowboys transitioning from Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense to Monte Kiffin's 4-3 scheme, Spencer will move from outside linebacker to defensive end in 2013.