SAN ANTONIO (AP) -The Dallas Cowboys signed their top two draft picks Thursday, with first-rounder Anthony Spencer getting a five-year, $9 million deal and third-rounder James Marten getting a four-year deal.
Spencer, a linebacker taken 26th overall, and Marten, an offensive lineman, missed the first practice Wednesday and the morning workout Thursday. The team was hoping to have them by the afternoon session Thursday.
When they arrive, both should get significant playing time because of injuries to the starters ahead of them.
Spencer, who is guaranteed $6 million, was a defensive end at Purdue, getting 10 1/2 sacks as a senior and 21 in his four-year career. The Cowboys will be moving him to outside linebacker to rush the quarterback on the side opposite of DeMarcus Ware. Ware successfully made the switch from college end to linebacker when he arrived two years ago.
Spencer is expected to open the season backing up veteran Greg Ellis, if Ellis recovers from a torn Achilles' tendon that ended his season in November. Dallas' pass rush dropped off drastically after Ellis was hurt.
Ellis tried practicing Wednesday, but felt pain right away and stopped. An MRI showed no damage, only bursitis, and the team plans to bring him along slowly. Without him or Spencer, the Cowboys were forced to use rookie free agent Alex Obomese with the first team.
Marten, from Boston College, could see action at either tackle spot as starters Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo are both on the physically unable to perform list.
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