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NFL Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Profile: Anthony Spencer

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

If you watched the Dallas Cowboys closely in 2012, you would know their best defensive player was outside linebacker Anthony Spencer. Even when DeMarcus Ware was healthy, Spencer was wreaking havoc on opposing offenses while playing out his one-year franchise tag.

Spencer put together his best season as a pro collecting a career high 95 tackles and more importantly, a career high in sacks with 11. It was the first time in Spencer’s career that he posted double digit sacks, which finally helped quit the criticism.

Looking forward to 2013, Spencer finds himself in almost the same position as last year. Right now he’s working under the franchise tag but looking to receive a long-term deal in Dallas. The only difference this year is that Spencer is one-year older and learning a new position, defensive end.

Spencer is not new to the position since he played defensive end in college but it has been a long time since he’s lined up there. There will be an adjustment period for Spencer as he adapts back to his old position but it shouldn’t take him long to settle in. The Cowboys used him plenty as a 4-3 end in the past few seasons with Rob Ryan, only now he’ll be asked to attack the quarterback more often. Spencer is already one of the best run stoppers in the league and he should thrive in the new alignment.

The 2012 season for Anthony Spencer was no fluke and Cowboys fans should expect more of the same from Spencer in 2013. Throughout his career Spencer as always been able to pressure the quarterback and even though sacks haven’t always come easily, he’s played impeccable run defense. It should be a joy to watch Spencer this year as he prepares to rush the quarterback more than he has at any other time in his Cowboys career.

At 29-years old it looks like this will be Spencer’s last season in Dallas unless they can work out a long-term contract. His age and the uncertainty over his performance that comes from a position change make a new deal unlikely. However, Cowboys fans should enjoy Spencer’s play one last year and his transformation into more of a pass rusher should be fun to watch.

The Dallas Cowboys have nothing to worry about with Anthony Spencer and he should be one of the better defensive players on the field for the Cowboys in 2013.

Ben is a Cowboys writer for Rantsports.com and you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi, or add him on Google+