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Expectations soar for Anthony Spencer

IRVING, Texas – Is what we saw from Anthony Spencer down the stretch last season what we’ll get?

The Cowboys certainly think – and hope – so.

“He was a force in the second half of the year,” Wade Phillips said. “He was one of the best players we had, and we have a lot of good players. We expect him to keep going.”

If Spencer keeps up the pace from the final eight games last season – including the playoffs – he’ll punch his ticket to the Pro Bowl. He’ll probably be an All-Pro. He might even barge his way into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.

Check the stats: Eight sacks, eight tackles for losses, 20 quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. Now double those numbers. You’re talking about a dude who would be among the NFL’s sacks leaders while dominating against the run.

You won’t find anybody at Valley Ranch who wants to downplay that possibility.

“I see a lot of confidence in Spencer,” said DeMarcus Ware, who is widely considered the best outside linebacker in football. “When he first started, he had to get into it a little bit, but now, he’s that guy.”

The Cowboys thought Spencer would make a significant impact in his first season as a starter. He eventually proved them right.

Expectations are a lot higher a year later.