Greg Ellis: Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

Greg Ellis is in the last year of his reworked contract and is scheduled to count $6.25 million against the 2009 cap. The Cowboys must decide if Ellis’ level of play versus that huge cap hit is worth it this year.

Depth behind Ware and Spencer is a definite concern as well. With only special teams players, Steve Octavian and Justin Rogers, on the current roster, trading Ellis becomes trickier than expected.

Reworking his contract could be an option. I’m sure Ellis would want an extension to go along with lowering his cap hit. Is that what is in the best interest of the team at this point? Another million dollar question.

You also have to look at what is out on the market right now for a pass rush specialist able to play outside linebacker in the 3-4. Julius Peppers comes to mind, however, he is no spring chicken either and would command big bucks to sign as well. Add that along with the fact that he’s always played with his hand on the ground and I’d say it’s safe to say he isn’t coming to Dallas.

How about the draft? There are a couple names that come to mind that are expected to be available in round two: Virginia’s Clint Sintim and South Florida’s Tyrone McKenzie. I’m leaving out first round prospects since we don’t have enough trade ammo to get up in there, realistically.

Depth on the inside, with only Bobby Carpenter arguably able to sufficiently backup our starters, is a concern as well. With so many questions at linebacker on one of the most important parts of a 3-4 defense, this should be one of the top priorities entering April’s NFL draft.

I hate to quote him, but remember what The Tuna told us about 3-4 linebackers?

 “You can never have enough GOOD linebackers.”

Comments
  1. Joel G

    Good statements, even thought I love Ellis hard work and commitment to the Dallas Cowboys. I have seen a desire of discipline comming from him to stay as a cowboy with his on going conriversy over the past two years. I also believe of our young up coming star calliber that can replace him and that would be Anthony Spencer. Thanks for the years of service and wish you the best this year and that you will be able to retire with a ring.
    GO COWBOYS!!

  2. Joe D.

    It’s definitely not worth the hit. His performance last season was already down from the year before. He is in obvious steep decline. Ware made just 2.1 million last season! Ellis will cost 6.25 million, do the math! Trade or release Ellis.

  3. nate

    joe-
    yesterday i did a couple of mock drafts with trading ellis the main focus. the first is a monster of a trade involving 6 picks and ellis for a 2nd round pick and the second mock goes by scout.com’s guidelines as far as player projections go. ill post them in order here:
    ELLIS TRADE MOCK
    Trade picks 69, 101, Greg Ellis (valued at approx. cleveland’s 4th round pick at 104), 117, 156, 197 & 227 for Cleveland’s 37
    DRAFT:
    (2) 37. Clint Sintim OLB Virginia
    (2) 51. William Moore SS Missouri
    (5) 166. Worrell Williams ILB California
    (5 comp.) 172. Alex Boone OT Ohio State
    (6 comp.) 208. Cullen Harper QB Clemson
    (7) 210. Dallas Reynolds C/OG/ROT BYU
    pick trade values:
    37=530
    51=390
    69=245
    101=96
    104=86
    117=60
    156=29
    166=25
    197=12.6
    210=7.4
    227=1
    Scout.com Projection Mock
    51. Ron Brace DT Boston College
    69. Victor Harris CB Virginia Tech
    101. Tyrone McKenzie OLB South Florida
    117. Mike Hamlin SS Clemson
    156. Jason Phillips ILB TCU
    166. Curtis Taylor FS LSU
    172. Alex Boone OT Ohio State
    197. Kraig Urbik OG Wisconsin
    208. Jasper Brinkley ILB South Carolina
    210. Tom Brandstater QB Fresno State
    227. Louis Vasquez OG Texas Tech
    1) Brace slides Ratliff to right end and makes Spears trade bait in his last contract year
    2) McKenzie takes Ellis’ backup spot behind Spencer and puts Ellis on trade block also in his last contract year
    3)Phillips plays nickel linebacker in place of Brooking on passing downs and Brinkley replaces Carpenter to back up James putting Barbie on the trade block.
    4) Taylor puts the oft injured Watkins out of a job. Competes with Courtney Brown to backup Hamlin.
    5) Boone puts either Free or Mcquistan on the trading block.
    6) Urbik and Vasquez replace either Kosier or Holland and Procter. One must be able to play center and guard and the other must be a solid backup on the left side. Procter and Holland or Kosier go on the trading block with one year left on all of their contracts.
    Spears, Ellis, Carpenter, Brown, Free or McQuistan, Kosier or Holland and Procter are all on the trading block. Should be able to stock pile more picks for next year.

  4. Tiffany (Stargazzing)

    Loved Ellis “back in the day”. Still like the guy but I think he’s used up. Save the cap!

  5. Cowboy Bill

    I don’t see Ellis as used up but he is on the down side of his career. I still see tremendous upside to keeping him. The cap hit is huge but that’s part of signing these guys when they’re performing at their best. He had 8 sacks which isn’t bad for a LB.
    I’m not thrilled with the way he tries to play “coach” all the time. He over steps his bounds when talking about the staff and decisions being made.
    Trade maybe… release? That would be a MISTAKE. Not enough depth at the position.

  6. Joe D.

    Cowboy Bill – You are absolutely right and sometimes I let my raw emotion get in the way of my better logic. Ellis does have value, but I’ve seen this done plenty of times where a team releases a player only to renegotiate a lower salary. Maybe we can do something like that, if not a trade.
    Nate – If we pulled that off, our defense would be the best in the NFL for next five years!