Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest
By MATT MOSLEY  |  Last updated 9/24/13
The Dallas Cowboys will have to play the rest of the season without one of their top pass-rushers. Defensive end Anthony Spencer will undergo microfracture surgery on his knee and be placed on injured reserve, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said during his weekly appearance on KRLD 105.3 Tuesday. Spencer's likely played his final down with the Cowboys. He was playing under the franchise tag for the second consecutive season. Spencer missed training camp and the preseason after undergoing arthroscopic surgery. He returned to the field against the Kansas City Chiefs, but was inactive last Sunday against the Rams. Head coach Jason Garrett said Monday during his news conference that he expected Spencer to return to a high level of play this season. Spencer was arguably the Cowboys' best player on defense in 2012. Under normal circumstances, his performance would've warranted a lucrative contract extension from Jones. But the Cowboys medical staff knew that Spencer's knee could be an issue moving forward. He attempted to play through the injury, but the organization and Spencer came to the conclusion that he needed to shut it down and have surgery. Players have returned to action after microfracture surgery, but it's especially tough for a defensive end who relies so much on speed and explosion. George Selvie will become the permanent starter at defensive end in Spencer's absence. The former seventh-round draft pick was considered nothing more than a training camp body when he showed up in Oxnard. But he's been very productive through three games. The Cowboys hope to have defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (groin) back after he comes off the physically unable to perform list. The earliest that can happen is after the sixth game of the season. If there's a silver lining for the Cowboys, it's the fact they've had a lot of time to get used to not having Spencer in the lineup. Now, that becomes permanent.
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