Apr 012009

Honestly, I am weary of hearing and reading about what a “good guy” Greg Ellis is, how he is a leader in the locker room, a team guy, a good soldier. The past three – four off-seasons have shown us a side of this guy that is annoying at best and destructive at worst.

First, he whines and intimates how he wants to be traded when the Cowboys announce they are going to the 3-4 defense and moving him to outside linebacker. After that proves to be a possibly career-saving move, and one that lands him in his first Pro Bowl, he quietens down about that issue. But then, he has this mysterious injury that lingers and lingers while he is in contract talks (“dispute” is more accurate, actually) with Jerry. As soon as the contract is hammered out, he is miraculously healed and ready to go. He later admits that the “financial limbo” made him reluctant to return from the injury.

Every offseason, Ellis complains about the contracts HE signs. He points fingers at management. He shows himself to be a me-first athlete. How on earth can he be a leader of anything? And if he is a leader, where exactly are they going?

Now, in an interview with WFAA (ABC affiliate in Dallas), Ellis seems to blame the Cowboys’ late-season fade last year on management. His reasoning is that they didn’t take care of guys’ contracts and it created a distraction:

“We players love football, we wouldn’t be playing, but you have a responsibility to your family, so those contract things come into concerns,” Ellis said. “That’s typically why owners or GMs don’t let guys, or even coaches, they don’t let you get to that last year because they want you to know you’re either in or you’re out.

“They’re making their business decisions, which sometimes in my opinion is a negative thing, and in my opinion last year it was a negative thing, when it came to our football season.”

Excuse me? Which contracts are we talking about? Haven’t most people accused these Cowboys of being too fat and happy because of the big-time, long-term, and, in some cases, premature, lavish contracts? Is Ellis intimating that he and others were dogging it to protest their contractual situations? Is he saying that financial worries weigh so heavily on the minds of these men who are paid millions to play a game that they just cannot bring themselves to give their all on the field?

Greg Ellis, if he is a leader, is the wrong kind of leader for this team. How can his whining and complaining be any more productive than T.O.’s me-ness?

In the interview, Ellis essentially invites Jerry to cut him. Here’s hoping Jones accommodates him. The guy is not championship material. He has served his purpose: filling his spot on underachieving teams for eleven years. Let him go. Let him find those greener pastures and graze until he is fat and happy.