Talent Always Wins

certainly wouldn't call last Saturday's controlled scrimmage a great indicator of anyone's progress, but for now that's all what we got. Now they weren't even tackling - someone forgot to tell safety Keith Davis - but Greg Ellis certainly didn't look like he was lost.

No, we found him in the backfield quite a bit, recording a pair of sacks, stopping Marion Barber in the backfield down near the goal line and then deflecting a pass on the ensuing play.

Really Greg, what's the problem again?

"Well, I guess I did all right - the coaches said I did all right," Ellis said after the scrimmage. "But I still felt a little out of place. I still didn't feel very comfortable."

O.K. let's face it, Ellis probably won't ever feel totally comfortable at outside linebacker, especially this year.

After eight years of playing end with his hand on the ground, battling it out in the trenches on every play, it's only natural that Ellis will never get excited about playing in space, having to look speedy, shifty wide receivers in the eye.

"The first time I did that, it was a scary feeling," Ellis said of having to cover a wide receiver. "And it hasn't gotten much better. I've only really played this position a few days now. Maybe a couple of weeks, so I know I'm not going to get it all done right away. You can't just turn into a linebacker overnight."

At least Ellis is starting to look the part. He's free from wearing knee braces in practice and games - a mandatory procedure Parcells has for all of his defensive and offensive linemen.

"Yeah, I'm glad I've gotten rid of those," Ellis said. "That's one good thing about this. I don't want anything slowing me down."

So who knows exactly what's going to happen Saturday night for Ellis.

Good guess is he won't play long enough to pass judgment on his performance. He might struggle a bit in trying to cover receivers and might make up for it when it's time to rush the passer.

While Ellis may never turn out to be a really good outside linebacker, he still is very much so a really good football player.

And when it comes to keeping him in the plans and keeping him on the field, the Cowboys don't need any other reason than that.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising