TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Former Dallas Cowboy Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Ellis was in Tyler Wednesday, speaking to area football coaches and players at the 9th Annual East Texas Kickoff Luncheon. The former first round pick was the guest speaker.
A ten year veteran along the Cowboys defensive line, Ellis retired from the NFL in 2010. Ellis has continued to succeed off the field. He's currently the CEO Play Now Enterprises LLC. Ellis offers help to former NFL players, struggling after football.
"Our whole life has been spent with an offseason, with a preseason, with a in season and after season," said Ellis. "You've been told it's time to lift weights, rest, be in your room at this time. So when that is taken away from you, that transition is not easy to make for a lot of guys. So I do the best I can do and I invite any retired athlete to come out, I tell them I can't afford to pay you what you were making in the NFL, but come out and to see what I'm doing, if it's something you'd like to do maybe we can work something out. But it's tough."
Ellis led the Cowboys in sacks for five consecutive seasons. The Cowboys could use some his 84 career sacks this year.
"They (the Cowboys defense) don't have to do a whole lot to be better than they were last year," said Ellis. "We finished No. 1 in the NFL in defense one year and that year we weren't expected to be good on defense. But defense is a mentality. The thing that can be their saving grace is to put that chip on their shoulder and to be us against the world and say, 'People don't expect us to be good, they expect for us to be the wink link, let's pull together and figure out a way to win.'"