IRVING, Texas -- Anthony Spencer has two goals: to play this season and avoid the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which would cost the Dallas Cowboys defensive end the first six games of the regular season.
"I just want to be back on the field this season, whenever that is," Spencer said.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has acknowledged the possibility of keeping Spencer on the 53-man roster for the first two weeks of the season even if he is not cleared to play.
Spencer is coming back from microfracture surgery on his left knee after playing just one game last season. He has slowly increased his workload during the summer and is focusing on more change of direction and resistance training.
"I haven’t plateaued yet," Spencer said. "My body is responding really well to the things we’re doing, so we’re just going to continue to do them."
The Cowboys open the season Sept. 7 against the San Francisco 49ers. If he is on the PUP to start the season, he would not be eligible to play until Oct. 19 against the New York Giants. The Cowboys will be without second-round pick DeMarcus Lawrence for at least the first three regular-season games because of a broken foot and they need all the defensive line help it can get.
Coach Jason Garrett said Spencer would mostly play right defensive end when he returned. He played left defensive end last year and has mostly played on the strong-side for his career. Spencer said he is working on both stances as he works his rehab and does not believe it will take him long to adjust to the new side.
"I would just be happy to be out there, truthfully," Spencer said. "It really doesn’t matter where I end up."