Cowboys face decision on Anthony Spencer

IRVING, Texas – While the Cowboys attempt to sort out their defensive coaching situation, they will eventually have to turn to their highest-profile free agent, outside linebacker Anthony Spencer.

“Obviously his goal would be to go back,” Spencer’s agent, Jordan Woy, said. “He likes it here. He loves to play here, but a little bit of it will be up to the team. I’m sure we can get a deal worked out, but if we don’t he’ll get a deal out there.”

The decision to stay with the 3-4 scheme or move to a 4-3 could also impact the future discussions. Woy said he anticipated talking to the Cowboys in February. Free agency is set to begin March 12.

The Cowboys made Spencer their franchise player last year, paying him $8.8 million. They could franchise him again in 2013, but that would cost $10.6 million and they are in a difficult salary cap position. If the Cowboys are able to work out a long-term deal for Spencer, then his cap figure would figure to be less than half of the franchise tag.

Spencer had his best season in 2012 with a career-high 11 sacks and led the Cowboys with 106 tackles. He also had eight tackles for loss, 26 quarterback pressures, four pass deflections, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

When the Cowboys lost Sean Lee and Bruce Carter to injuries, Spencer took over as the defensive signal caller for a stretch.

“You know the Cowboys,” Woy, said. “If they want somebody, they figure out ways to get it done.”