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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Round One: Chuck Howley vs. Greg Ellis

As we head into the summer doldrums, BTB introduces its own form of March Madness to get you through the slow period until training camp: a 64-player "Best Cowboy of all time" tournament! Today’s first round match-up features five seed Chuck Howley facing off against twelve seed Greg Ellis

Another Monday, another Dallas duel. Today, we have one of the leaders of the original "Doomsday defense," fifth-seeded Chuck Howley, doing battle against a defender of more recent vintage, the underrated and twelfth-seeded Greg Ellis. Thus far, our top seeds have prevailed, and by comfortable margins. Can Ellis be the exception? Read the bios and hit the poll to register your preference, BTBers!

And, in case you want to see the entire tourney, here's a link to the bracket, courtesy of BTB member osa111.


Player: Chuck Howley

Position: linebacker

Seed: 5


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Charles Louis Howley

Bio: Howley was acquired by the Cowboys in 1961 for second-and ninth-round draft picks after he had retired in 1959 (after playing in the NFL for one year) due to a major knee injury. He started for two seasons on the strong side before moving to the "Will" in 1963 to take advantage of his superior speed and athleticism. Indeed, Howley's athletic ability made him one of the greatest coverage linebackers of all time, and helped him be a turnover machine. Howley intercepted 25 passes and recovered 18 fumbles; his 97-yard return of a fumble is the second longest in Cowboys history (behind only Greg Ellis, today's opponent).

Howley was named first-team All-Pro five times in his career, was a six-time Pro Bowler and was named to the All-Eastern Conference team in 1963. Howley played in 165 games for the Cowboys, including two NFL Championships two Super Bowls. He was named Super Bowl V's Most Valuable Player after intercepting two passes and recovering a fumble in the Cowboys 16-13 loss to the Colts. It was the first time a defensive player received the honor and the only time a player from the losing team has won the award. Howley was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 1977.

Selected by Dallas in first round (17th player overall), 1990 … Won rushing crowns in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 … Led NFL in rushing touchdowns three times … Major contributor to Cowboys Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII, XXX victories … Named first-team All-Pro 1992-95 … In 1993, named NFL’s MVP and MVP in Super Bowl XXVIII … 11 straight 1,000-yard seasons … Became NFL’s all-time rushing leader in 2002 … Career totals: 18,355 yards and 164 touchdowns rushing; also had 515 receptions … Born May 15, 1969 in Pensacola, Florida. - See more at:


Player: Greg Ellis

Position: defensive end, outside linebacker

Seed: 12


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Gregory Lemont Ellis

Bio: Ellis was drafted in the first round of the 1998 draft and was immediately ensconced as the starter at defensive end, where he remained for the first eight years of his career. In 2006, Bill Parcells moved him to outside linebacker as he implemented his beloved 3-4 defense. In his last three years in Dallas, Ellis started 35 games at OLB, enjoying his best season in 2007, tallying 12.5 sacks in only 13 games and earning NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors after having his 2006 campaign cut short by an Achilles injury.

Ellis played in 162 games during his Cowboy career, starting 155 of them. During his tenure in Dallas, he totaled 77 quarterback sacks, 377 tackles, 20 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, and four interceptions. He scored two touchdowns, both in 1999: an 87-yard interception return and a 98-yard return of a fumble recovery (just nipping Howley's record 97-yarder).

*Ellis's CAV with Dallas is 85; his Career AV (with two teams) is 91.

Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the next round?

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