Spears agreed to a five-year deal worth $19.2 million deal, sourced told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, keeping him in the same spot he has had since the Cowboys drafted him in the first round of the 2005 draft.
Spears played in only eight games last year before a calf injury landed him on injured reserve. Playing mostly on first and second down he had 24 tackles and three quarterback pressures. For his career he has 250 tackles, eight sacks, 46 pressures, 10 pass deflections and four forced fumbles.
Keeping Spears, a valuable voice in the locker room, mitigates the loss of Bowen to a degree. He is a valuable run stopper, especially next to Jay Ratliff but he has not had the chance to rush the passer much. The Cowboys have had talks with Kenyon Coleman, Robaire Smith and Cullen Jenkins; however, Spears' deal likely takes them out of the Jenkins sweepstakes.
Coleman, who played for the Cowboys from 2003-06, and Smith remain options and played for new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan in Cleveland.
Todd Archer covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.