SAN ANTONIO (AP) -The Dallas Cowboys signed top draft pick Anthony Spencer to a five-year, $9 million deal Thursday and were hopeful of having the linebacker in training camp by the afternoon.
Spencer, the 26th pick in the draft, will get $6 million guaranteed. He missed the start of camp Wednesday and the first workout Thursday morning. He was waiting out negotiations in Dallas.
Spencer 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 he 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 had been using rookie free agent Alex Obomese with the first team.
Spencer's deal leaves only one pick unsigned: offensive tackle James Marten, a third-rounder. Marten is missing out on valuable experience as both starting tackles are on the physically unable to perform list.
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