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Marcus Spears is happy to be here but ....

Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears was watching the NFL draft ticker last weekend.

Spears was expecting to get traded from the Cowboys, and several teams were mentioned, including the Miami Dolphins. But Spears wasn't traded.

He's still here and happy about it.

"Not surprised, don't want to get ahead of yourself, a lot of things can still happen," Spears said Sunday night. "I think it was a bit surprisingly when I saw the trade [for Dez Bryant] happen, I thought it was me. It wasn't but we'll wait and see. If I'm here when the first game starts, then I'm a part of the team."

The reason Spears is concerned about his status with the team is his tender offer. The Cowboys gave him an orginial tender offer of $1.226 million, which is less than what his backups are getting in Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher.

Why would the Cowboys give Spears less money than his backups?

Well the collective bargaining agreement has plenty to do with it. When the owners opted out of CBA last year, it pushed the financial landscape of the league into a mess. Players who had a chance to become unrestricted free agents lost their ability to do so.

Players like Spears, Miles Austin and the such, are now restricted free agents, still at the mercy of the teams they play for.

Spears understands that.

"I am and that's a part of it and that's what makes the situation a little bit different," he said. "From the beginning of last season I knew this possibility with the CBA, it wasnt surprising at all. The original draft tender was always there, and why wouldn't you use it if you can get a good player to play for cheap."

The other issue is that maybe the Cowboys don't value Spears as much as they do. While coach Wade Phillips would like to see Hatcher challenge for a starting job, it appears its Spears' job to lose.

Spears doesn't blame the Cowboys for what they did, in fact he probably would do the same thing. He's also not asking for a trade, like Sam Hurd and Patrick Crayton are due to the selection of Dez Bryant at wide receiver, but feels the Cowboys don't want him long-term.

"It's not about me getting outraged or getting down because to be honest with you I dont have time to," Spears said. "No matter what you feel like what you've been dealt, at the end of the day, I'm going to make $1.2 million and probably 98 percent of America can't say they will."