On Michael Irvin’s radio show on Thursday, new Raider defensive end Greg Ellis spoke about the problems with his former Cowboy team, his regrets, and what he looks forward to on his new team.
He spoke of what he thought the problem was in Dallas and why he is looking forward to a fresh start in Oakland and the challenges that it brings.
“Talent wise, you look at that (Cowboys) last year on paper and it was there. But I think sometimes, we’d show up and anticipate and say “Hey, we got this game. ‘We’re the Dallas Cowboys’. The nucleus of the team, the people depended upon to play and be starters, I do think that interfered with them. And not only during games but sometimes in the preparation for the game. Sometimes guys don’t (work hard) when they don’t have to. That’s the disappointing thing about it to me. I really search for that. I’m like ‘We aint won a Super Bowl guys. I know everyone’s saying that we’re gonna win and we should win, we’re supposed to win but we haven’t done that around here in a long, long time’. Heck, we’ve never even won a playoff game. So the lackadaisical (attitude) that the team showed, I have nothing else to put the blame on.”
He goes on to talk about trying to be a leader in such an environment and how difficult that idea was.
“People would say ‘Greg you’re the leader’. I had guys come up to me and say ‘Greg you gotta do something’ and I would tell them ‘look, I can’t do anything if they won’t allow me to do anything’.
“I’m not complaining, I’m not even with Dallas anymore so there’s no reason for me to complain. But the facts are, how can I be a leader when you don’t allow me to play? How can I be a leader when you take me out of the game and guys on the field are coming over to me are like ‘What’s wrong? Why aint you in the game?’ and I’m telling them, ‘guys, don’t worry about that, just go out and try to win this game’. So where does that (leadership) come from then? It should come from the veteran guys and yes I was that guy, but…there’s very little you can do from the sideline.
“When we played a game at Tampa Bay last year, I asked Wade (Phillips) ‘I think I could help us out if I rush. Not for selfish reasons but I think if I rush we’ll be a better football team’. He rushed me in that Tampa game a lot. I didn’t get a sack but I had a bunch of pressures and Wade himself said ‘that’s the best defensive performance he’s ever seen in his NFL career. After that Tampa Bay game, we go to New York and that night I asked Wade ‘Can I address the team’ and he said ‘Yeah’ and I promised those guys; I said ‘Guys, just follow me, tomorrow against the New York Giants, just watch me. If you play up to what I’m going to give you tomorrow, we’re going to take care of this thing’. But then in that game I only play about ten plays. So when you’re dealing with stuff like that and you ask what the problem was and why we didn’t win the Super Bowl, that’s the point…It’s a disgrace.”
“I really do cry about it, I really do get teary eyed about it because, I wanted us to win the Super Bowl and I felt we had a chance.”
He continues by discussing how he is dealing with the reality of not being in Dallas any more, for whom he has spent his entire NFL career with up to this point. And how it feels to move on to play for the Raiders.
“Well, you got to shed it off in Dallas and pick it up in Oakland. That’s what I have to do. (I had) some great years in Dallas. We should have won the Super Bowl but we didn’t do it. I have to move on and you have to realize the NFL is a business. And if you want to be a part of it, especially when you leave a team go to another one, you have to put on your business hat and go to your new team, your new city and commit to them all you have. Give them the same thing you gave your last team. That’s what I’m committed to do.”
Ellis then points out that his career is far from complete.
“We had a good run, we won some games and that is what I have to do when it comes to Dallas. For now I look at a challenge with Oakland. The struggles that they had last year. If we can get it turned around and get on the winning side, get into the playoffs, win some playoff games and ultimately get to the Super Bowl and win that. I know some people say ‘Yeah right, that that aint going to happen in Oakland’ but if we can make that happen, it’ll be a great feeling to know that you were a part of turning something around. And that feeling has to be great.”
To read more about this interview or to hear it in it’s entirety click here.