It took one injury for the doom and gloomers to come out of the woodwork to slam Jerry Jones, again, for releasing Greg Ellis. They are crying that the depth is gone and all is lost because Brandon Williams is out for the year with a torn ACL. What's funny is that Williams has done next to nothing since being drafted outside of rehabbing various injuries. There are plenty of players on the team capable of providing depth at outside linebacker even without Brandon Williams.
Before I discuss the guys still on the team to provide depth I'd like to remind some of the fans about the attitude of Greg Ellis. Over the past few years he had become a constant whiner and complainer about his role in the defense. How do you think he would be handling spot duty on the defense after all his years as a starter? From his offseason comments he wasn't going to be a good teammate and do what was best for the team without undermining the authority of the coaches. That was reason enough to get rid of him. The team is now basically complaint free for the first time in a long time. I loved him as a player for the Cowboys but his complaints had worn me out over the last few years. The last thing you need on a team is a bad example to follow.
Victor Butler is still here to provide depth and was improved in his second preseason game. Steve Octavien looked like a guy who can provide pressure on the quarterback from the outside linebacker spot. Jason Williams is slated to play inside but he has the skills to rush off the edge. Bobby Carpenter could even fill in from time to time since Keith Brooking is also able to play the nickel linebacker spot. Obviously there are still plenty of players who can fill the backup role.
Don't forget we are talking about a guy who was going to be a spot player at best. Anthony Spencer and Demarcus Ware will be on the field for the vast majority of the defensive snaps. You can play the "what if" game with injuries to either guy but we could do that at every position and there will always be uncertainty when starters get hurt. Greg Ellis was too pricey and too much of a whiner to justify keeping.
Like Mickey Spagnola of dallascowboys.com always says...you can't have a steak on every plate. In other words, you can't afford to pay guys $4 million to play a backup role in the defense...especially if the player is going to complain to his teammates, the coaches and the media about his playing time.
Is the defense a little weaker without Greg Ellis? Maybe, but maybe not. Time will tell. The bottom line is that what's done is done with Greg Ellis. Any rehashing and Jerry bashing is just white noise to me because I have moved on as I am sure the team has as well. Injuries are part of life in the NFL. Someone has to step up and fill the void.