Getting Defensive

That chirping Valley Ranch birdie tells me today that Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Ellis is unhappy and skipping off-season workouts in an attempt to force his way out of town. Ellis, the team's first-round pick in the 1998 draft, doesn't fit the mold of coach Bill Parcells' 3-4 defensive scheme. He's undersized to take on offensive tackles often out-weighing him by 50 pounds. Most important, he sees the writing on the draft board: Last year Dallas picked DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears along the defensive line, and last weekend spent a third-round pick on Grambling's Jason Hatcher, who has a 6-foot-6 frame that can hold 300 pounds and steal even more of Ellis' diminishing snaps. Ellis, the 8th overall pick, has been a disappointment, joining the underwhelming list of high-drafted defensive ends along with Shante Carver, Ebenezer Ekuban and Kavika Pittman. --Richie Whitt

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