Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears strained his calf in Sunday night’s 45-7 loss to the Packers and will not play again this year. Dallas announced Wednesday the 2005 first-round pick has been placed on injured reserve, ending his season and putting his$1.2 million tender offer in jeopardy. The LSU product is currently making less than his two backups, Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher. Spears’ has never missed a game in his short career until now. Dallas also placed rookie safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah on injured reserve after the fourth-round pick suffered a high ankle sprain in the Cowboys’ 35-17 loss to the Jaguars on Halloween. Owusu-Ansah would most likely try to return later this season if the Cowboys had a decent record, but since the season is all but lost already, the team decided to get the rookie healthy for a possible starting role next season. With these two moves, the Cowboys signed two defensive linemen to replace Spears and Owusu-Ansah on the 53-man roster.
Spears’ injury depletes the Dallas defensive line, a unit that has failed to produce over the past three weeks. Hatcher is currently nursing a groin injury he suffered against the Giants on October 25 while rookie defensive tackle Sean Lissemore will be out 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury he suffered in the loss to Green Bay. With these situations on top of the two moves to IR, Dallas signed defensive ends Jeremy Clark and Jimmy Saddler-McQueen on Wednesday. Clark was cut from the Cardinals’ practice squad this summer after short spells on the Falcons’ and Eagles’ practice squads. He has only appeared in four NFL games, all with the Giants in 2008. Saddler-McQueen was with Dallas this summer, but was let go in the final preseason cuts. He is now back with the Cowboys after also being cut from the Rams’ practice squad.