UPDATE: Report confirmed that Spencer will indeed have season-ending knee surgery.
There are mixed signals coming out of Valley Ranch from a Dallas Cowboys executive, a coach and a player…and in other news, the sky is still blue. Jerry Jones said Tuesday morning Anthony Spencer will need microfracture knee, which will likely end his season. However, the franchise-tagged defensive end has denied the report, so now no one in Dallas knows what the heck is going on.
@calvinwatkins said Spencer needed microfracture surgery. Spencer denied it. JJ says he’s having it & will miss season
— Jean-Jacques Taylor (@JJT_ESPNDallas) September 24, 2013
The kicker here is Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Monday afternoon he expected Spencer to return to 100 percent health this season, so now we once again have Garrett’s word against Jones’ and Spencer stuck in the middle. And of course, the ultimate variable here is Spencer will once again be a free agent at the end of the year because it would be highly unlikely for him to get a new deal with the team while out with an injury, especially considering he hasn’t gotten one done the past two years while healthy.
On another rumor-related note, the fact Jones is again overruling the word of Garrett and Spencer leads one to believe the Cowboys’ colorful owner and GM wants Spencer to be done for the year. No. 93 has just two tackles in very limited time through three games this year while the Cowboys recorded six sacks in their 31-7 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. So Jones may already be thinking about saving money during the 2014 season when Dallas will be strapped for cash under the salary cap.
If Spencer is indeed out for the year, the Cowboys will rely more on the young pass rushers who have been solid this year without Spencer on the field, for the most part. George Selvie is quickly becoming a star in Dallas while Kyle Wilber has held his own through the transition to the 4-3 defense as well. Obviously Spencer’s absence for the rest of the season would still be a big blow, but it would certainly benefit the Cowboys from a financial standpoint if he becomes expendable because of the youngsters’ emergence.
This would be an awkward situation for any NFL team, but the Cowboys are used to Jones contradicting Garrett and virtually everyone else at Valley Ranch, so the entire football world — including everyone inside the Cowboys’ organization — will just have to wait and see what actually happens with Spencer and his sudden need for knee surgery.