GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is knocked down after passing by Anthony Spencer #93 of the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field on November 15, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 17-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Greg Ellis expressed surprise on Wednesday when he was told by reporters on a conference call that Anthony Spencer--the man by whom he was replaced in Dallas--had a big, fat, elephant of a zero in the sacks column this year; Ellis, who spent 11 seasons in Dallas, said he no longer follows the Cowboys comings and goings.
Whether or not that's true, Ellis is hardly the only one surprised by Spencer's lack of a sack total this season; letting Ellis go this year--although aided by his large contract and annual complaining as his role was reduced--was the ultimate vote of confidence in Spencer, who was drafted first overall in 2007, and, one would presume, his ability to get to the quarterback.
Ellis went on to say that sacks are not the end-all, be-all of gauging the effect of pass rushers, citing consistent pressure on the quarterback as an all-important factor as well, regardless of the ever-pretty statistic. In this regard, Spencer has improved over the past few weeks. He was robbed of a sack by a review in last week's win over the Redskins, and came down with the game-clinching interception.
Still, no one on the Cowboys--Spencer included--is content with a goose egg in the sacks column. For now, Spencer says the key is patience, as he and the team move into their Thanksgiving Day match-up against Ellis's new team, the Oakland Raiders.
"Yeah, it's frustrating, of course it's frustrating, but at the same time, what can I do?" Spencer said on Tuesday. "I just keep doing my job and hoping for the best, that's basically all I can do, just stay focused and confident in what I'm doing. That's what I've been doing, so far it's been working for me.
"It's all about winning. If I was getting sacks and we were losing, it really wouldn't mean much. So as long as we're winning, I'm happy. In this game, it's all about patience and, when your time comes, being ready to perform."