The Dallas Cowboys currently have an extraordinary number of players missing time due to injury. While some players are going to miss significant time, most of them are expected to be back for the season opener on Sept. 8.
Of all the players listed on the Cowboys’ injury report, I believe the return of Anthony Spencer will provide the greatest benefit for the team. Spencer has missed all of training camp, and will likely miss the rest of the preseason games due to arthroscopic knee surgery. Barring any set-backs, Spencer is expected to be back for week one against the New York Giants.
Last season, Spencer had a career year, racking up 95 total tackles and 11 sacks. With the Cowboys playing with a depleted defense last season, Spencer stepped up and became a leader for the Dallas defense. His efforts last season were good enough for the Cowboys to place the franchise tag on him for the second straight season. With the hiring of Monte Kiffin, Dallas will be switching to a 4-3 defensive scheme. I think Spencer, who will be playing defensive end, will be a huge contributor for the Cowboys again this year.
The Cowboys have yet to have all of their first team defensive players healthy at the same time. So far this preseason, this defense already looks to have improved from last season, and they are playing without at least four of their starters. I am anxious to see what the defensive unit will do when all of their starters return.