IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer will soon be taken off the physically unable to perform list despite not being ready for the season opener, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said.
Spencer played in only one game last season before undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee in October.
If Spencer remained on the PUP list, he would have to miss at least the first six games. The Cowboys are optimistic that he can play as soon as Week 2.
"I can assure you, at this time, as close as we are to Week 1, he won't be ready," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. "But he will be on our active 53-man roster. And we wouldn't be doing that if we weren't planning on him being on the field immediately.
"He's progressed at a surprisingly fast pace. I would say not Week 1, but there's a possibility that any time after that he could feel good enough about his repairs. ... We feel like that has completely grown in the way that that injury heals. It's a question of him feeling good about his cuts. He's in great shape. We certainly know that he could give us a lift earlier than we had planned."
Spencer said he still isn't certain of a timetable for when he will return to practice or how much practice time he will need before he's ready for game action.
"I'm just taking it day by day," Spencer said. "I do a lot of change-of-direction stuff and been doing a little bit of metabolics and stuff like that, a lot more football-related drills. That's all going real well right now."
The Cowboys also must make a decision about the roster status of rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who underwent surgery to repair his broken right foot in late July. The timetable for Lawrence's recovery was expected to be eight to 12 weeks.
Dallas has to decide whether to eventually put Lawrence, a second-round pick, on the short-term injured-reserve list. If Lawrence is put on short-term IR, he would have to be on the 53-man roster through Sept. 2 and then wouldn't be eligible to play until the Cowboys' ninth game of the season.