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The Greg Ellis saga

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Mac Engel, staff writer for the DFW S-T, wrote a short column today about Greg Ellis and his role - if he has one - in the Cowboys' defense in 2006.

"He [Parcells] said he intends to play him more," said James Williams, who represents Ellis. "The ball is in the Cowboys' court. Greg is still under contract. Bottom line: We anticipate sitting down with the Cowboys soon to talk about his future."

When asked the best way to characterize the situation between Ellis and the Cowboys, Williams said, "It's not cantankerous. It's not adversarial. It's just trying to find some common ground."

I wasn't convinced by the argument and still believed the Cowboys would exercise his bonus on March 3rd and then try to trade him for picks in the draft. Just my theory, no facts to actually back it up.

Mac Engel then went on ESPN radio and expanded on the subject and made some interesting comments. (I'm stealing the summary from TrickBlue at the CowboysZone Forum)

  • There is a chance Ellis will be back. Jones wants him back.
  • Dallas QB pressures and running totals went awry when Ellis was not playing. They put him in against Carolina and they started improving.
  • Parcells didn't seem to want Ellis to think he could play the 3-4.
  • Ellis' agent said that Bill told him after the season that he intends to play him more.
  • Several have told Bill that Ellis can play this system after reviewing film. Parcells may think so now as well. Ellis is cap friendly.
  • Ellis wants to stay here, but he wants to play.
  • Canty wore down towards the end of the season but it is what you would expect from a rookie.
  • It is doubtful that Glover will be back next season.
  • Ellis had a perfect PR move at the end of the season. He never barks and by doing so he got the attention of coaches, players and ownership.
  • No one that knows Ellis doesn't want him to get what he wants.
Now this is interesting. When an agent says something - like the statement in the original article - I never believe it. Agents lie to advance their clients, this is what they do. But Engel adding in that Parcells may have changed his mind about Ellis in the radio interview adds a whole new dimension to the situation.

Admittedly, I was on the fence about Ellis' return. He's a good player, a good teammate and is cap-friendly. He could help with the DL rotation. Conversely, it seemed he was unhappy in his new role - which was virtually no role - as Parcells had severely curbed his playing time. Plus, I really thought we could get a decent draft pick for him.

If Engel is accurate then it's time to re-calculate. If Parcells is going to play Ellis then Ellis will be a happy camper. It keeps continuity along the DL and gives us effective depth at the position. His cap-friendly number is not too much for a part-time player, but would've been too high for a back-up player.

In this scenario, I would welcome Ellis back in 2006.