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NFL Free Agency 2012: Anthony Spencer Could Receive Franchise Tag From Dallas Cowboys

Free agent linebacker Anthony Spencer could receiver the franchise tag from the Dallas Cowboys, according to a report.

Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and could garner some interest from teams looking for a pass rusher in a 3-4 defense. Spencer might not be able to hit the open market however, as the Cowboys could place the franchise tag on him according to a report by Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram.

The Cowboys may not be done with free agent linebacker Anthony Spencer just yet. According to a team source, Spencer is a candidate for the franchise tag, giving him a one-year deal of about $8.8 million.

Spencer has been a disappointment for the Cowboys since he was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft. Spencer has never had more than six sacks in a season, which is a surprise given he's playing on the opposite side of All-Pro linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who undoubtedly draws extra attention from opposing offenses.

The reasoning for opting to franchise tag and keep Anthony Spencer rather than find a replacement in free agency is there just may not be a viable replacement available. If one can't be found in free agency, they'll likely force their own hand in the draft as well looking for his replacement. For now, the best solution for the Cowboys would be to hold onto Spencer.

For more on Anthony Spencer and the Dallas Cowboys, visit SB Nation's Cowboys blog Blogging The Boys and SB Nation Dallas.