“Fans of Dallas thank u all so much for 8 yrs the good and bad times ill be moving on!! The support has been tremendous! From my family thx U,” Spears posted on his Twitter account. “Guys don’t be sad for me please! I’ve been blessed beyond measure! Everything you do in life is for a season except for family!”
The Cowboys drafted Spears in 2005 with their second pick of the first round. He was about to enter his third year of a five-year deal he signed in 2011. Spears was scheduled to make $2 million this upcoming season, which would count $2.7 million against the salary cap.
The Cowboys have decided to make the 30-year-old Spears a post-June 1 cut, which means they can spread out the cap hit over the next two years. Spears will count $700,000 against the cap this year and $1.4 million against the cap in 2014.
The decision to release Spears will allow the Cowboys to save $2 million in cap room this year, but they will not receive the cap credit until June 1. This will allow the Cowboys to put a post June-1 tag of two players, and offensive tackle Doug Free is an early name that has been speculated to be a candidate, according to the website.
When Spears was first drafted by the Cowboys, he was the ideal candidate that fit the team’s 3-4 defensive scheme under head coach Bill Parcels at the time. But since Jason Garrett has taken the helm as the Cowboys head coach and hired Rob Ryan – who is now the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints – to be the defensive coordinator, he changed the scheme to a 4-3 defense.
Spears played in a total of 15 games in 2012, six of which he started. He completed the year with 35 tackles, one sack and two tackles for a loss. In his eight seasons with Cowboys he had 10 sacks.