Cowboys put franchise tag on LB Anthony Spencer

The Dallas Cowboys have placed their franchise tag on Anthony

Spencer to keep the outside linebacker from becoming an

unrestricted free agent.

With the decision before Monday’s deadline for such a move,

Spencer will be guaranteed a base salary of about $8.8 million next


Spencer has started 53 of 76 games in his five seasons with the

Cowboys, starting all but one game the past three seasons. Spencer

had 66 tackles with six sacks and four recovered fumbles last


Dallas has used the franchise tag only two other times, in 2002

on offensive lineman Flozell Adams and in 2008 on safety Ken

Hamlin. Adams and Hamlin both later agreed to contract


Spencer has 21 1/2 career sacks.