Spencer staying away from Cowboys' workouts

As of now, linebacker Anthony Spencer will not participate in the Dallas Cowboys' off-season program, which began Monday.

Spencer, given the franchise tag by the Cowboys, is looking for a long-term deal and has switched agents from Roosevelt Barnes to Dallas-based Jordan Woy, a source said.

Spencer has notified the Cowboys of the change and, per NFL rules, he and Woy must wait until Wednesday to submit the formal paperwork to the league.

Woy then will likely begin talks with the Cowboys about the possibility of getting a long-term deal worked out. Until then, Spencer is expected to stay away from the off-season program and work out on his own. He has yet to sign the franchise tag, guaranteeing him $8.8 million next season.

The off-season program has three phases and will go on for nine weeks.

The Cowboys will be in Phase One for two weeks. They will be allowed only to work with the strength and conditioning coaches and trainers doing rehab. No coaches will be allowed on the field to participate or even observe. No helmets are allowed. Quarterbacks can throw passes only to uncovered receivers. No one else can handle a football.

Phase Two will begin the week after the NFL Draft and run for three weeks. Coaches are allowed to participate, but there will be no contact and no helmets, and no one-on-one drills between offense and defense, kickoff and kick returns, no receivers vs. defensive backs and no offensive linemen vs. pass rushers.

Phase Three will follow the next four weeks, including Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and the mandatory veteran minicamp. No live contact is allowed. Only helmets are allowed. No pads.

Schedule time

The Cowboys know against whom and where they will open the 2012 season. They will find out the rest of the schedule tonight.

The league announced Monday that it will release the schedule at 6 tonight. Already announced is that the Cowboys will visit the New York Giants on Wednesday, Sept. 5, in the season opener. It marks the first time Dallas has played the Giants in the opener since 1995, a 35-0 Cowboys' win. But the Cowboys opened in New York last year, losing to the Jets.

The Cowboys know they will play Chicago, Cleveland, New Orleans, the New York Giants, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington at Cowboys Stadium. They will travel to Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington in addition to the Giants.

Forbath released

The Cowboys released Kai Forbath, who never kicked for them after spending last season rehabbing. He is the second kicker the Cowboys have released this off-season, joining David Buehler.

That leaves Dan Bailey as the only kicker on the roster.

Charean Williams contributed to this report.

Clarence E. Hill Jr.

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