Cowboys not shaken by losing Spencer

IRVING, Texas -- The collective feel from the Dallas Cowboys to the news that Anthony Spencer would not play again in 2013 was one of disappointment for their teammate, but it would not mean an end to their season.

That’s a sign that Jason Garrett’s next-man-up mantra is sticking.

And it’s not something really new either.

Last year the Cowboys lost seven key contributors on defense -- Barry Church, Kenyon Coleman, Orlando Scandrick, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and Josh Brent -- and managed to remain in contention for a playoff spot until the final week of the season.

Without Tony Romo in 2010, the Cowboys finished the second half of the season with a 5-3 mark with Jon Kitna as their starting quarterback.

Withstanding injury is a prerequisite in the NFL.

“It’s obviously not something you want,” Romo said. “He played as well as anybody last year. I feel for him and what he’s going through. At the same time, when I was out, the games, they keep playing and the team keeps going on. You have to understand there are too many times and too many teams that have had a guy to get hurt and have gone on to do some successful things to think that you can’t. If you talk to Anthony, he’d be the first to tell you he’d want everybody to keep doing what they’re doing, keep getting better and go and win these football games.”

The Cowboys believed they improved their depth across the roster. With Spencer battling a knee injury the Cowboys picked up Edgar Jones and Caesar Rayford in trades from Kansas City and Indianapolis at the final cut.

“The only good light here is the fact that we’ve been playing without Anthony and our coaching staff with Rod [Marinelli] and certainly Monte [Kiffin], has made this adjustment for the first three ballgames and most of our preseason,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “So we have been bringing personnel in and evaluating personnel and continuing as though we weren’t going to have Spencer, and so we’re ahead of where we would’ve been had this just happened here and he got hurt in Kansas City.”