Spencer, a Pro Bowler at outside linebacker last season, practiced this week for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery July 25. He was limited in practice Wednesday and Friday and had a planned day off Thursday. He is listed as questionable on the team's injury report.
"If I go on Sunday, it won't be like the starting role, playing 60 or 70 snaps," Spencer said after practice Friday. "It'll be limited. I'm not sure what that is right now, but it will definitely be limited."
George Selvie, who was signed after Spencer was sidelined during the first week of training camp, will again start at defensive end opposite DeMarcus Ware. Selvie's performance in the season-opening win against the New York Giants, when the fourth-year journeyman had a sack, a fumble recovery and two quarterback pressures, has given the Cowboys comfort in easing Spencer into the mix.
Spencer, who will make $10.6 million this year after the Cowboys used the franchise tag on him for the second consecutive season, originally hoped to play in the opener but had a setback with swelling in his knee. He said he had not experienced swelling this week.
"I feel better than I did on Wednesday," said Spencer, who changed positions when the Cowboys switched to a 4-3 defense with the hiring of coordinator Monte Kiffin. "I feel a lot more fluid in the stuff that I'm doing and just moving around better. … I felt really good today."