If linebacker Greg Ellis of the Dallas Cowboys wants a new deal, he won’t be finding one coming from his current team. Ellis and Dallas owner Jerry Jones spoke Wednesday about the linebackers situation, and while Jones says he like Ellis as a player, he stated he is not in a position to give him a restructured contract. Ellis is scheduled to make $2.5 million this season, and has a deal through 2009. He is still attempting to come back from a torn Achillies tendon that he suffered last November.
“Everything’s there that speaks for itself,” Jones stated. “Greg’s under contract for several more years. He’s working off his injury, I know he’s working hard to do that. I think he’s got a great chance to be a part of a very successful team and defensive unit.” That unit has been under fire since folding down the stretch last season, but if Ellis can make it all the way back and play well it will give the Cowboys a huge boost.
He did attempt to practice on the opening training camp session on July 25th, but felt pain in his repaired foot and had to stop before the first snap was taken. He has been working out with trainers on the side since then. “We’re counting on him. He knows we’re counting on him,” Jones said. “We don’t have a player that understands the system any more than Greg does, and understands how you can put together a team and how you can keep it together.” The soon-to-be 32-year-old linebacker had started in 130 of 133 games before last seasons injury kept him on the sidelines.
There was also talk about Ellis’ future with the team when Dallas drafted Anthony Spencer in the first round, who just happens to play the same position as Ellis. “People can say, ‘He’s not going to take your job.’ But that’s the nature of this beast,” Ellis said earlier in camp. “You don’t draft a first-rounder to sit on the bench.” With that Ellis said if he did not get his deal redone, he wanted to be released or traded. Both those things now look like they will not happen in Big D. The best thing for Ellis to do is go out and prove what he is worth, and make the Cowboys wish they would have used their first round draft pick elsewhere.