Wade Phillips Press Conference

SAN ANTONIO - Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips met with the media after Thursday morning's practice at the Alamodome.

GREG ELLIS INJURY UPDATE: After pulling out of drills early Wednesday, linebacker Greg Ellis was held out of practice Thursday morning. Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said afterwards he should be OK.

"The MRI showed no problem," he said. "We are going to bring him along slowly anyway. I don't know if he's going to practice this afternoon but he's getting closer."

Ellis underwent surgery on Nov. 14 to repair a ruptured Achilles in his left leg. He was second on the team in sacks before his injury with 4.5.

ROOKIE UPDATE: ISAIAH STANBACK: One of the more intriguing rookies on this year's squad is wide receiver Isaiah Stanback. Phillips said Thursday Stanback has been performing well, despite the fact he's been limited due to a foot injury suffered during his last year at Washington.

"He's really attentive," Phillips said of the converted quarterback. "He's focused. Having been a quarterback he understands schemes and the passing game a little better than most.

"When you call a play, he knows what to do. He knows what the receiver does but he also knows what the other guys should be doing.

"We are really more worried about him with shin splints than his foot. His foot is almost completely well but we want to make sure he gets completely well. He looked like he was moving pretty well today, so I don't think it will be very long."

PADS GO ON THURSDAY MORNING: The Cowboys wore pads for the first time since last season Thursday morning. Phillips said afterwards, "The offensive line was probably more excited than anybody. They were excited about being able to get the pads on and being able to push people around a little bit.

"We have to look at the tape to see how they did but they got some good hits in."

Phillips also commented on newly signed guard/tackle Leonard Davis.

"The reason we got him in the first place is because he is versatile. He's probably stronger at right guard, so that's where we have him," he said. "We don't want to move him right now because our tackles are going to come back.

IMPRESSED WITH WARE: Phillips was asked Thursday morning about DeMarcus Ware. He said he was familiar with Ware going all the way back to the 2005 NFL Draft.

"We had Demarcus in before the draft in San Diego," he said. "So we knew about it and we had a good feel for him. I was surprised he wasn't picked sooner. He's ready to play. He's got a smile on his face all the time but he's coming hard every play.

"He's not perfect, but he's the kind of player you want. He's going to work hard all the time and not complain.

"He's a really good pass rusher. I think he can be better and we want to work with him on that. You only have a few of those guys that have a great feel and the quick feet and the speed. He's special in that way."

QUICK HITS: First round draft pick Anthony Spencer has signed and could practice this afternoon. ... When Phillips was asked about how involved he likes to get in play-calling, he responded, "Just overall game strategy and what we get accomplished. Not necessarily run this play." ... Phillips said he expects linebackers Kevin Burnett and Bobby Carpenter to stay inside. ... The Cowboys will practice with the Denver Broncos during the week of their preseason game on Aug. 18. ... Phillips said the following on Marcus Spears, "He's got a good attitude. He's come to training camp ready to play. I expect him to do well."

NEXT UP: The Cowboys return to practice this afternoon at 3:30 Central Time.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We have a common bond. We are the Dallas Cowboys. We have some goals we are going to set and they are going to be lofty goals." - Wade Phillips.

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