Why one-year deal for Spencer makes sense

IRVING, Texas -- With free agency on the horizon, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclinmissed the 2013 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, ruining his bid to cash in on a big-time contract in 2014.

Maclin re-signed with the Eagles last week on a one-year deal worth $6 million of which $3.5 million is guaranteed.

"I think I made the best decision for my situation, I really do," Maclin said.

What does Maclin have to do with the Dallas Cowboys? It got me to thinking about Anthony Spencer.

Spencer played 34 snaps in 2013 before undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee. Like Maclin, he was set to be an unrestricted free agent after the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on him in 2012 and ’13, paying him roughly $19 million. The knee injury ruined Spencer’s ability to find a long-term deal.

So would it be in Spencer’s best interest to return to the Cowboys on a one-year deal for a third straight season, albeit at much lower price?

His agent, Jordan Woy, said Spencer should be ready to go in training camp or the preseason games. It would seem to make sense for Spencer to remain with the Cowboys since their athletic training staff knows him best and knows where he is exactly in his rehab. The coaches know him best as well and would know when he would need rest to make it through a season after such a tricky surgery.

Maclin is 26 and returning to form after an ACL tear nowadays is much more commonplace. Spencer turned 30 in January and microfracture surgeries do not guarantee success, although the Cowboys have worked a few players back into the mix from it in the past.

As with everything, it will come down to opportunity and price. Spencer might find it better to go to a 3-4 team to play outside linebacker instead of defensive end in a 4-3 to bet on himself on a one-year deal and the Cowboys might want to get younger.

But a one-year deal would make sense for the Cowboys to have some cushion along the defensive line and make sense for Spencer in hopes to find a better deal in 2015.