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Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer likely to play out the season on the franchise tag

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Anthony Spencer and the Cowboys are no closer to a deal (USA Today Sports Images)

NFL teams and the agents for the eight players to receive the franchise tag this offseason have until 4 p.m. ET on July 15 to reach a multi-year contract agreement.

Even with nearly three weeks left to negotiate a long-term deal, Jordan Woy, the agent for Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer, says the two sides are going to focus on the 2013 season, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

"Both sides are happy with the one-year deal," said Woy, a Dallas-based agent who replaced Roosevelt Barnes as Spencer's agent last offseason. "We tried hard but could not work out a deal. We have a very positive relationship with the Cowboys. Anthony is happy and he will play to the best of his ability again this season"

Spencer played the 2012 season under the franchise tag and had the most productive season of his career, posting 95 tackles and finishing second on the Cowboys with 11 sacks. Spencer earned $8.856 million in fully guaranteed base salary last season. Under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, a second franchise tag calls for a 20 percent increase over the player's previous year salary, which means Spencer's tag this season is worth $10,627,200.

To avoid having the tender rescinded this offseason, Spencer signed his tender on March 12, the first day of the 2013 league year.

Spencer is moving from outside linebacker to defensive end as the Cowboys switch from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 scheme under new coordinator Monte Kiffin. Dallas would be wise to wait and see how productive Spencer will be playing with one hand on the ground before making a long-term commitment to him. Thanks in large part to a depressed free agent defensive end market, where Cliff Avril was the top pass-rusher on the market and got $6.5 million per year from the Seattle Seahawks with $11 million guaranteed, the Cowboys are negotiating from a position of strength after creating considerable cap room by renegotiating the contracts of a few of Spencer's teammates.

The Cowboys had around $9 million in salary cap space before agreeing to terms with first-round center Travis Frederick on Tuesday. Frederick's five-year deal, first reported by Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas, will take up $1,249,096 in cap space, leaving the Cowboys with about $8 million in space when they hit Oxnard on July 21.

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