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.”