IRVING -- For the first time since 2005, Marcus Spears will not play in every Cowboys game. A strained calf has put him out for four-to-six weeks and the Cowboys figured by the time he returned it would be too late for him to have a big impact.
So the team placed him on injured reserved on Wednesday.
Replacing him is Stephen Bowen.
The Cowboys projected starting defensive line will have Bowen, an undrafted free agent starting at end, nose tackle Jay Ratliff a seventh round pick and end Igor Olshansky, who was signed as a free agent last year. But Olshansky was a second round pick by San Diego in 2004.
Bowen has played on passing downs and is considered very good against the run and an improving player vs. the pass. Bowen had his best season last year vs. the pass with a career-high three sacks and 33 quarterback pressures.
"I take it the same way as if I wasn’t starting," Bowen said. "I go out there and do my job and do it the best of my ability and help my team win."
Without Spears, Bowen has to deal with another new change, Paul Pasqualoni moves from defensive line coach to defensive coordinator with the firing of Wade Phillips.
"He definitely knows his stuff," Bowen said. "He's beenin this game a long time. He's not going to give you anything that's not valuable for you to use in the game. He shows us every single thing that our team can possibly do."