Mickey Spags ran into Greg Ellis at the convenience store. I guess that’s the advantage of living in the DFW area and working for the Dallas Cowboys website, you run into Greg Ellis at the store. When I go to the convenience store I run into the guy whose car "just ran out of gas" and needs "just a few bucks" so he can pick up his daughter at a school for the handicapped. If he’s not there, the guy who sells Rolex watches for 50 bucks is sure to be there. But no Greg Ellis. Luckily, Mickey did run into Greg.
Mick brings up the same line of defense that was used for Greg last year when he spoke up in the press about his dissatisfaction over moving to OLB. Greg’s a worrier by nature. If he doesn’t have something to worry about he will create something. Guess what, plenty of people are constant worriers. In some way, it’s part of the natural human condition. It’s what kept us alive way back when on the plains of Africa when the lions – that’s real lions, not the Detroit variety – where thinking we’d make a pretty good snack. We worried and survived. But nowadays, we worry about paying the mortgage, or whether that noise the car keeps making can be ignored for a couple of weeks. Greg worries about his job. Fair enough, but do we need to hear about those worries in the press every year? I’m not saying anything bad about Greg, except talking to the coaches is probably a better idea than talking to the media.
So you can read about all of that in the article. What caught my eye is that when asked about recovering from his injury, Ellis said he was running and moving. But when asked about being ready for the season, Greg wasn’t as sure.
"That's what I'm shooting for," Ellis says, "but they say it normally takes a full year," and he is well aware the Sept. 9 opener against the Giants is a good two months out from the one-year anniversary of having the tendon that attaches the calf muscle to the heel at the back of the ankle sewn together again.
I don’t think Greg is as confident in his return as some of the fans out in Cowboys Nation.
But this was a curious statement from Mickey.
Seems the Cowboys are most interested in using Spencer with his hand on the ground as a pass-rushing defensive end on the nickel. If so, that could leave Ellis and Carpenter battling for a starting job at left outside linebacker.
What? They drafted Spencer in the first-round, and traded a 3rd and 5th-round pick just so he can play a specialty position that’s not on the field for most of the game? That just doesn’t wash with me. I watched a couple of San Diego games last year and a majority of the time they line up in a 3-4 base. Even during passing situations they sometimes stayed with a straight 3-4. I would be stunned to find out the Dallas brass paid that high a price and used a first-round pick for a guy to play only occasionally. I know that Mickey talks to the players and coaches, so he should have some kind of idea of what they plan to do, but this stretches credulity.
I guess we’ll see soon enough.
Last year, Ellis lined up with his hand down when the Cowboys used a 4-man line. But if Spencer is going to do that as Mickey suggests, what will Ellis do?
But then what happens to Ellis on the nickel since rushing from the outside on the four-man line had been one of Ellis' chores, and he was pretty good at it? In fact, so good, we saw how the Cowboys would never compensate last year for his second-half absence, their pocket pressure all but expiring if not for Ware.
"They told me I might go inside then," Ellis said.
Cowboys tight end Tony Curtis caught four passes for 37 yards, including his first touchdown of the season last weekend in NFL Europe. Playing for the Cologne Centurions, Curtis clearly had his best performance of the season through the first four games. Curtis, who spent most of the last two years on the Cowboys' practice squad, had just one catch for 10 yards in the first three games for Cologne.