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Ellis Here To Stay

as a player who gets the kind of snaps a starter gets - snaps strategic to our situation." 

But don't stop there. Parcells doesn't. He sees the Cowboys expanding their defensive scope this year, throwing in more unorthodox four-man fronts, which will allow him to use Ellis in sort of a specialty role more suited for his talents. That is the impetus for Jones saying what he said about the number of snaps. 

"He's in the prime of his career," Jones said. "He allows us to have a rotation. There is just a lot of times we're out there in a four-man front. If we're compromised with Ware (injury), I'm not sure who the next one is to give us pressure. 

"Right now, the one who can give you pressure in addition to Ware is Greg." 

Now the Cowboys must convince Ellis of that, and apparently will discus his situation with him and his agent Butch Williams soon, though Jones insists he meets with veteran players in the off-season from time to time and that this by no means should be interpreted as a summit meeting. There is this perception Ellis still is unhappy with his reduced role, and that is why he has not been a regular participant in the off-season workout program - though working out on his own. 

"Don't read anything into that," said Williams, who figures he will fly into Dallas soon for this meeting, presumably before June 1. "Every indication from the organization is that he fits in their plans this year. 

"Now we want to see how he fits in." 

Ellis has not been heard from since the end of the season when he voiced his concern and anticipated his departure since he no longer was a starter - nor has he been heard from since receiving his roster bonus. 

Jones did not seem concerned, and insisted, "As far as the same page, we're on the same page with Greg Ellis," who still has four years left on the extension he signed in 2003 that paid him $4.2 million in signing bonus. 

"Greg has stated his position - the pure 3-4 concept doesn't fit him," Jones said. "But the facts are we don't play the 3-4 all the time. We're going to play some four-man fronts. I haven't seen a player the caliber of Greg Ellis compromised by a scheme. They usually win for you no matter the scheme." 

That brings us full cycle. Say what you want. Perceive what you want. Buy into what you want. 

But Greg Ellis is here, and he's not going anywhere. 

That's how valuable he is.   


!   What's the saying about once a bad egg? The poster child is Derek Ross, the Cowboys' third-round draft choice in 2002 out of Ohio State where he fell from grace in the draft because of several driving transgressions and failure to abide by the law. Well, imagine this, Ross this week has been sentenced to four years in prison for jumping bail ($99,000 bond) after getting arresting for transporting about 20 pounds of marijuana while driving in Harris County (Houston area). Not only that, after that arrest, Ross also was arrested a few months later in South Carolina when caught trafficking 25 pounds of marijuana in his car. That case against Ross still is pending, and if convicted, could earn him as much as 30 more years in the big House. What a waste. 
!   Can't even go to a golf tournament, without someone asking why Terrell Owens wasn't there with about 60 of the other 88 players the Cowboys have rights to. Said Jones, "I understand T.O., what his commitments are, and if I don't have a problem with them, no one should." So there. 
!   This is interesting to me since the Cowboys will be part of the NFL's effort to re-establish the New Orleans Saints in their community and state by playing that Aug. 21 preseason game in Shreveport, La.: The Saints just announced having set a franchise season-ticket-sales record with 54,969 sold to date, nearly 1,200 more than the previous record set in

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