OXNARD, Calif. -- Anthony Spencer will enter the 2012 season without the long-term contract he seeks.
Instead, the Cowboys outside linebacker will play for $8.8 million, the figure assigned to him when the team franchised him this spring.
Spencer said he's fine with how things played out with his contract. He understands the business of the NFL but admits high production in 2012 could lead to a big-money contract -- if not from the Cowboys then elsewhere.
"I don't think about it at all. Once I signed (the franchise tender), I'm under contract for another year and I'm just going to play like I did last year," Spencer said. "I was worried about it, but after I signed the franchise tag, I just put it behind me."
Spencer doesn't have the high number of sacks like DeMarcus Ware consistency collects, and some fans and media members don't believe he's very good because of that.
When told he had just six sacks last season, tying a career-high, Spencer joked that it was a "fact" he did compile that number.
Spencer's sack totals -- 21.5 in his career -- could be higher if he was asked to rush as much as Ware. Spencer is asked to cover tight ends and running backs more so than Ware. A few months ago, coach Jason Garrett said Spencer is better in coverage than Ware.
The Cowboys made upgrades to the defense this offseason in the hopes of improving the sagging pass rush. Cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne were added. If play improves at safety should Barry Church beat out Brodney Pool for the starting gig, that should be a plus.
"It's a team sport, everybody has to do their job to execute the plays that we want to execute," Spencer said. "If someone is not doing their job, it's hard to execute what we need to get done. When everybody is doing their job, it's a lot of fun."