Anthony Spencer could return this week

Anthony Spencer worked out before Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams, knowing he was not going to play.

That could change this week against the New Orleans Saints.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Spencer “hopefully” will get some playing time after missing the last 17 games after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee last fall. Spencer last played in 2013, for only 34 snaps in a Week 2 loss at the Kansas City Chiefs.

He saw his first work in practice last week, taking part in a limited fashion during Wednesday and Thursday sessions. He did not practice Friday, which was part of the plan.

“I went pretty good in practice so just going to go a little bit harder, push it a little more,” Spencer said. “I kind of eased into it this past week but now we’ll see how it feels.”

The Cowboys signed Spencer to a one-year deal with a $1.25 million base salary. He can earn $46,875 bonus for every game is on the Cowboys’ 46-man roster.

The Cowboys plan to play Spencer at right defensive end after he played the strong-side the first seven years either as a 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end. Considering his prolonged absence, the Cowboys don’t want to overwork Spencer too quickly.

“I’m anxious because it’s close,” Spencer said, “but at the same time I’m trying to be as patient as possible.”

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