IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys linebacker Greg Ellis was active for the first time since he tore his left Achilles tendon last season, but didn't start Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
He did play, however, and record 1½ sacks and two tackles as the Cowboys beat St. Louis 35-7.
According to reports in various Dallas-area newspapers, Ellis signed a new deal on Saturday. A source told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Ellis' contract still runs through 2009, but that some of his base salary was given to him as a bonus. His base was $2.5 million this year, and was already guaranteed.
Several newspapers reported that Ellis has an insurance policy that allows him four games to decide whether to retire (and collect on the insurance policy) or to continue to play.
"If things didn't go well today," Ellis said, according to the Dallas Morning News, "what Jerry [Jones] did was show me that they just weren't going to throw me away like trash."
There was a 3 p.m. deadline on Saturday to get the deal done.
"He had some insurance issues about this injury that were compromising him, and it took us to about 2:59 to take care of those issues, so he could go out there and compete without worrying about it," Jones said, according to the Morning News. "He had been wanting to get out there; our agreement let him do it."
Rookie Anthony Spencer, the Cowboys' first-round pick, remained the starter at outside linebacker even though Ellis returned. Spencer has started every game this season.
Ellis is the longest-tenured Cowboy, in his 10th season since the team drafted him eighth overall in 1998. He started 130 of 133 games before getting hurt and missing the final seven games last season, and the first three this year.