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Ellis’ Comments Revealing
By Brian Aust

What did you mean, Greg? What is it you really said? When you made the Sporting News aware of your displeasure regarding the switch to the 3-4, what were you thinking?

He says he’s a leader. He says he won’t cause problems in the locker room. Then, Ellis tells the national sports media that he’s unhappy about the team’s direction.

Well, he’s not exactly making problems disappear.

It’s the biggest story of the off season. The club spent big bucks in free agency to allow for it. The draft was devoted to it. The Cowboys were making the switch to the 3-4, and Greg Ellis lets it be known that he doesn’t like the idea.

His seemingly negative comments, especially during the period of change, fuel those who still may not be convinced by the move to the 3-4. Doubters like me. Doubters including fans who haven’t seen a different defensive scheme their entire life. And, perhaps most damaging, doubters including players who look up to Ellis.

After reading Ellis’ contradictory comments, that word came to mind. That word devoted to people who say one thing then do another. That word no one likes associated with their name. That word die-hards might feel guilty using to describe one of the Cowboys supposed leaders.

After digesting Ellis’ remarks, however, that word worked its way out of my Ellis-adjective kit.

Minna Antrim, an often-quoted American scribe, pointed out the difference between a saint and a hypocrite is that one lies for his religion, the other by it.

In this case, by revealing the truth about his feelings on the 3-4, Ellis may turn himself into a liar. His comments, as they certainly have the power to do, could disrupt things down at the Ranch.

Should Ellis’ concerns become contagious, an argument could be made that Ellis went from leader to deconstructionist seemingly over night. I won’t make that argument, though.

Ellis’ comments fit Antrim’s definition of saint more so than hypocrite. Ellis is a minister of the Dallas defense, and when his comments contradict his rhetoric, he’s doing it for the sake of his religion.

With so many people rushing into the fruited fields of the 3-4, Ellis needed to remind everyone that the Cowboys defense, despite the organization's obvious commitment to make people think otherwise, is still led by players suited for the 4-3.

LeRoi Glover, Dat Nguyen and Greg Ellis are players carrying the torch for the Doomsday Defense who suddenly don’t have the full benefit of their illustrious careers. They are leaders who find themselves learning a new scheme alongside a group of hired guns and young hopefuls, and the three veterans no longer have experience to lean on.

Glover has played in the 3-4 before. Ellis and Nguyen should be good enough to work within the framework of the 3-4. Despite their potential, Ellis feels the situation isn’t ideal. And he’s right.

Most of us are caught up with what’s possible and seem to be forgetting what would be optimal. It’s obvious what Ellis thinks. And he’s speaking out because he’s a leader, not in spite of it. He wants to remind everyone of who leads this group onto the field.

Ferguson, Ware, Spears, Canty, Bunett and Henry – their transition to the 4-3 seems more natural than plugging Ellis, Glover and Nguyen into the 3-4. Who would you rather focus your defense around – perennial staples or versatile newbies?

The 3-4 is coming, that’s for certain. Whether we see more 3-4 than 4-3… well, it seems Ellis has given us our first clue. Unfortunately, his hint only gets at what he thinks should be done – not at what will be done.

So, we’re stuck playing the wait-and-see game. Who will get his way – the optimist or the idealist?


  • At 4:42 PM, Blogger ParcellsGuys.Com said…

    Considering Ellis has underachieved his entire career in the 4-3 defense he should keep his mouth shut in my opinion.

    If he continues to speak out in the media about this I am sure Coach Parcells will do something about it, maybe trade him.

    Ellis has also maybe seen the writing on the wall. The Cowboys drafted Canty, Spears and Ware to try and get some pressure on the QB becuase Ellis wasn't getting the job done. He has not hit 10 sacks yet in any one season. He might never do so, and in that case he should be considered a first round bust.

    I say this to Ellis and Glover -
    "put up or shut up", the defense was horrible last year so Coach Parcells went out and decided to try and change that in 2005.

    If these guys don't like it then they can move on in their careers.

    Nice Article Aust, I enjoyed the read and agree that Ellis was being truthful and lying at the same time.

    Coach Parcells will never tolerate players on a different page than him, just ask Antonio Bryant and Derek Ross.

  • At 12:57 PM, Blogger Erik Mann said…

    i was searching for Dallas type blogs and came across yours. i'm in Dallas if you want to checkout my website


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