Spencer vows to be ready for season opener

Defensive end Anthony Spencer vows to be ready for Cowboys season opener on Sept. 8.

One of the key components to the Cowboys' defense in 2013 has yet to see the field, practice or otherwise. Yet Anthony Spencer vowed to be ready to play in the season opener on Sept. 8.


The defensive end told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he's working to get back to action after having surgery on his knee July 25. The problem is, he can't even run yet.


"The more strength I build up, the more stuff I'm able to do in the weight room, it's making me be able to walk a little stronger and feel less pain each day," Spencer said. "So it's getting better."


Spencer is one of the reasons the Cowboys think they can be successful in switching to a 4-3 defense this season. Yet we may not really know how Spencer takes to the transition from being an outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment until the opening game against the Giants.


Spencer knows his time off the practice field is working against him.


"I like being out there," Spencer said. "You can only get better by being out there. I'm actually not helping myself right now."


What Spencer is doing is a lot of walking, lifting , working on an elliptical machine and riding a stationary bike.


"I'm trying to stay a little bit conditioned," Spencer said.


That's not exactly what the Cowboys envisioned Spencer doing when they placed the franchise tag on him. Spencer is coming off a career year and is being paid $10.6 million this season.


But so far, the pairing of Spencer and DeMarcus Ware as pass-rushing defensive ends in the 4-3 is still just a concept. It won't become a reality until Spencer's knee heals to the point where he can actually participate in a practice.


Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire