Anthony Spencer waits patiently for talks

IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys and Doug Free work toward either a breakup or an altered marriage, Anthony Spencer waits patiently.

Spencer is scheduled to make $10.627 million this year after the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on him for the second straight season. The Cowboys and Spencer would like to work out a longer-team deal this offseason, but other concerns ranked higher for the club so far, like re-signing Tony Romo, the draft and now Free’s future.

Spencer’s agent, Jordan Woy, expects to talk with the Cowboys in the near future in hopes of working out a deal.

The sides would have to reach an agreement on a new deal by June 15 or Spencer would play this season under the tag and become an unrestricted free agent next March.

The free-agent defensive end market did not heat up the way some thought. Seattle signed Cliff Avril to a two-year, $15 million deal. Michael Bennett got a one-year, $5 million deal. Both players were expected to command more money and years.

Spencer, coming off a career-high 11 sacks and his first Pro Bowl appearance, will move from outside linebacker to defensive end as the Cowboys switch to a 4-3 scheme.

With a new contract, the Cowboys would gain cap space that would give them a better chance to sign Sean Lee to a new deal. Lee is set to become a free agent after this season.