The Dallas Cowboys suffered a major blow, with franchise defensive end Anthony Spencer requiring season-ending microfracture surgery, according to owner Jerry Jones.
Spencer was the team's franchise player this offseason, and he had yet to step on the field this season as he tried to come back from a knee injury. The knee has not healed properly after a July arthroscopic procedure, and Spencer was limited to a mere 34 snaps in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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Jones told KRLD 105.3 The Fan, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, that Spencer would need the microfracture procedure.
A day after Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton went down with a torn ACL, that's now two major franchise players going down for the year — leaving their financial futures in doubt. Spencer will make $10.6 million this season, one a one-year tender, and again will be a free agent in 2014.
The Cowboys have made do with George Selvie, Kyle Wilber and Edgar Jones in Spencer's place at end and likely will have to mix and match for the rest of the season.
The NFL, meanwhile, continues on with a free-agency system that badly hurts players shackled with the tag and leaves them with little long-term security in cases of injury.