Anthony Spencer DL DAL 9 Hrs

While Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones is optimistic that Spencer (knee) will be in the lineup for Week 4, coach Jason Garrett was a little more guarded in his assessment of Spencer's chances, the Dallas Morning News reports. "We'll just see � take him day-by-day," Garrett said on Monday. "He's worked very hard the last few weeks just to get back. We'll see what he's able to do on Wednesday."

Spencer seems close to seeing his first game action in over a year following his knee injury and microfracture surgery, but we'll have a better idea of his availability once his activity level during practice this week becomes clear.

Anthony Spencer DL DAL 4 Days

Spencer (knee) is out for Sunday's game against St. Louis.

Spencer made two limited practice showings this week, but ended up sitting Friday. It's not clear whether he might be able to play next week, but his return to practice seems encouraging, in any case.

Anthony Spencer DL DAL 7 Days

Spencer (knee) could return to practice on a limited basis this week, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Given that it's been a year since he saw any game action, a Week 3 return to the lineup seems overly optimistic, but Spencer is inching closer to getting back on the field.

Anthony Spencer DL DAL 19 Days

Spencer (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's opener against the 49ers, ESPN Dallas reports.

Spencer's removal from the PUP list over the weekend allows him to return before six weeks of the season are complete. However, he missed practice both Wednesday and Thursday, spurring the Cowboys to rule the pass rusher out for Week 1. Once he's recovered from last October's microfracture surgery, he'll factor into a defensive front that is fairly inexperienced.

Anthony Spencer DL DAL 24 Days

As expected, Spencer was removed from the PUP list Saturday, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Though he isn't expected to play in the Cowboys' opener, Spencer has a shot to make it back within the first six weeks of the season, something he couldn't have done had the team left him on the PUP list. He underwent microfracture surgery on his knee in October, and there's no guarantee that he'll play at a high level upon returning.

Anthony Spencer DL DAL 28 Days14 Comments

Spencer (knee) will be on the Cowboys' 53-man roster once the regular season begins, but he won't be ready to play in Week 1, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Spencer still hasn't practiced since undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee in October. However, with the Cowboys wanting to avoid the automatic six-game sideline spell that comes along with a player beginning the season on the PUP list, Spencer will be activated to Dallas' 53-man squad before Sunday's deadline. Spencer reportedly has some progress to make in feeling confident about using his knee to make cuts, so it's unclear when he'll start practicing in the Cowboys' new 4-3 scheme, but an early season return is now a possibility.

Anthony Spencer DL DAL 2 Months

Cowboys placed DE Anthony Spencer (knee) and LG Ronald Leary (hamstring) on active/PUP.

Spencer underwent microfracture surgery last October, but is still no lock for Week 1. This is one of the most serious procedures an athlete can undergo, and the rehab timetable can be up to 12 months. By placing Spencer on active/PUP, the Cowboys leave themselves the option of putting him on reserve/PUP to start this season. Leary strained his hamstring during a conditioning test.

Anthony Spencer DL DAL 3 Months

Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer began running on his surgically-repaired knee on Thursday and said he had no doubts he would play this season.

Spencer is recovering from an October microfracture surgery that traditionally carries an 8-12 month recovery timetable. That timetable would put Spencer on pace to be available Week 1, but microfracture recoveries are notoriously finicky. Spencer will certainly play this season, but it remains a possibility he begins the year on the reserve/PUP list.

Anthony Spencer DL DAL 4 Months

Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer spent five months laying down 16-17 hours per day after knee surgery.

Spencer had season-ending microfracture surgery in October, so he's just recently started moving around. He's nowhere close to being in game shape and remains questionable to be ready Week 1. Spencer is a strong candidate to open the season on the reserve/PUP list, which will sideline him for the first six weeks.

Anthony Spencer DL DAL 4 Months

Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer (knee) could open the season on the PUP list.

Spencer is still recovering from October microfracture surgery and "hopes" to return by the end of training camp. "This injury it's really uncommon, you rarely see guys coming back from it," Spencer said. "I'm not looking at any type of timetable." The Cowboys are viewing anything they get from Spencer in 2014 as a bonus. Even if he manages to get cleared for Week 1, Spencer's effectiveness coming off a career-threating injury is a major concern.