Cowboys hope to close Anthony Spencer gap

OXNARD, Calif. -- When the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer back in March, the team’s intention all along was for the outside linebacker to play on the one-year deal.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said that does not mean Spencer does not have a long-term future with the Cowboys.

“When you’re not quite on the same page with each other, I certainly appreciate, understand and respect that,” Jones said. “He’s more on the DeMarcus (Ware) side of the money and we’re more on the other side so there’s a big gap. Let’s see if we can close the gap one way or the other.

"Hopefully he’s right. I’d like for him to get 16 sacks and have a big year. Right now, I think we’re at a point where we’re too far apart money-wise that the best thing to do is play out this year and see what happens.”

Because of league rules, the Cowboys cannot sign Spencer to an extension until after the season, but they can negotiate with Spencer’s agent, Jordan Woy, through the course of the season.

The Cowboys face an interesting dilemma at that spot with Spencer and his top backup, Victor Butler, scheduled to be unrestricted free agents after the season. They drafted Kyle Wilber in the fourth round last April with the idea he could be a future starter.