Cowboys want meeting with Anthony Spencer's agent

INDIANAPOLIS -- While most of the focus of the NFL scouting combine is on the draft, the Cowboys are hoping to meet with the agent for linebacker Anthony Spencer over the next few days.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said a meeting is not scheduled with Roosevelt Barnes, "but there's a chance we'll probably get with him."

Jones said a decision on whether to apply the franchise tag on Spencer, which would cost roughly $8.8 million, has not been made. The Cowboys have until March 5 to tender Spencer. Free agency begins March 13.

The Cowboys have used the franchise tag twice, on Flozell Adams in 2002 and Ken Hamlin in 2008.

"It's obviously usually a pretty decent [salary] number and it's not a cap-friendly deal, so that's probably the hardest thing," Jones said of the team's philosophy on the tag. "But at the same time it allows you some protection."

Spencer, a first-round pick in 2007, has never had more than six sacks in a season.

Jones said the Cowboys do not have an in-house candidate to replace Spencer "right now that we'd feel comfortable plugging in."

Spencer has 21.5 sacks for his career and has started 47 of the last 48 games since taking over for Ellis in 2009.

"I think he's performed solidly," Jones said. "I think he's a solid player. You keep thinking the production is going to come in terms of what you're expectations are. You think going into the season that this is the year he'll get 10-12 sacks. But at the same time you don't measure a player by sacks only. He's solid against the run. He gets pressure. He does all of that."

Should the Cowboys tag Spencer, Jones said it would not preclude the team from selecting a linebacker with their first-round pick in April.

"Right now we don't have Spencer signed long-term," Jones said, "and you can never have enough pass rushers."