Anthony Spencer receives franchise tag from Cowboys, according to report

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are ensuring they hang on to Anthony Spencer for at least another year.

The Dallas Cowboys will use their franchise tag on linebacker Anthony Spencer for the second straight year, according to Spencer's agent Jordan Woy. Spencer will be entering his seventh year in 2013, and he posted the best statistics of his career in 2012. The deadline for using the tag is Monday at 4 p.m. ET.

Spencer gets a one-year tender worth $10.638 million under the franchise tag. Because this is the second season in a row that Dallas used the tag to retain Spencer, that number represents a 120 percent increase over his 2012 salary of $8.865 million.

That constitutes a sizable cap hit for the cash-strapped Cowboys, which could possibly indicate the team's confidence in reaching a long-term contract. Spencer's agent noted that the two sides will work on a deal. The Cowboys and Spencer have until July to get a deal done, otherwise Spencer will play out the season under the franchise tag.

Tagging Spencer for a second straight year breaks the Cowboys' trend of rarely using the franchise tag. Before last year, Dallas had used it just two times prior. The franchise status means Spencer will make an average of the top five salaries at his position.

Spencer, an Indiana product, logged 95 tackles and 11 sacks this past season, far outpacing his previous career highs. The sack total matched his combine numbers from 2010 and 2011, so it should not come as a surprise that Dallas is looking to keep the veteran around.

This continues a busy couple of weeks for Dallas, who have been restructuring deals and releasing players in order to fit under the league's salary cap for 2013.

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