Friday News & Notes

Will he or won't he? That is the question surrounding Cowboys linebacker Greg Ellis.

After Ellis did some full speed practicing Wednesday for the first time since having his left Achilles surgically repaired, coach Wade Phillips said it was a slight chance for Ellis to play Sunday against the Rams.

Of course, talking to Ellis Thursday morning, he was less than enthusiastic about his situation.

Ellis acknowledged that he had made significant progress but said he was still experiencing pain and was nowhere near ready to play.

When told that Phillips thought he had a chance to play, he said he wasn't going to shoot down his coach and would try to make a go of it if that's what they wanted.

Ellis, however, said he was going to back it down in practice on Thursday.

However, when practice came on Thursday, Ellis did as much as he did on Wednesday and maybe a little more.

So much so that Phillips upgraded Ellis to 50-50 for the Rams game. He said he talked to Ellis after practice and was encouraged by his progress.

Phillips also said they weren't going to force feed Ellis into the starting lineup if he played. He said Ellis would likely play only on passing downs as a nickel pass rusher.

Phillips feels Ellis can handle that part of the game because he doesn't have problems running forward. It's backpedaling and doing a lot of lateral stuff that is giving him the most pain.

FRIDAY NOTES: CB Terence Newman will continue his role as a nickel cornerback against the Rams. Newman is no longer troubled by a torn plantar fascia. It's patellar tendinitis that is giving him problems now.

--SS Keith Davis will not play against the Rams because of a shoulder strain. He will be sorely missed on special teams, especially since his primary backup Courtney Brown is sidelined for a few weeks with a bicep injury. Davis will be replaced as a backup safety by Nate Jones.

--LB Bobby Carpenter practiced Thursday after sitting out practice on Wednesday with a sore knee. He will be ready to go for the Rams game.

--FB Deon Anderson could get his second start against the Rams because Oliver Hoyte is still limited with a neck strain.

--DT Tank Johnson will head to Valley Ranch next week to continue his suspension under the supervision of the Cowboys. He can't practice but he will be allowed to lift weights at the facility. He has a locker at the team's Valley Ranch headquarters and he will wear no. 66 with the Cowboys. He wore 99 with the Bears.

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