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[March 28, 2009]
Cowboys' Ellis likes NFLPA choice for union chief
(Dallas Morning News, The Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Cowboys outside linebacker Greg Ellis is excited about the future.
Ellis and other NFL Players Association representatives were seeking a new executive director after the sudden death of Gene Upshaw last year.
Enter DeMaurice Smith.
Last week, in a 32-0 vote, the player reps elected Smith executive director. He was picked over former NFL players Troy Vincent and Trace Armstrong, both of whom were NFLPA presidents, and sports attorney David Cornwell.
"It's a double-edged sword," Ellis said. "Do you want to vote for your buddy, a former player, or vote for somebody who can help us?'' Smith comes in with high expectations.
In the next few weeks, Smith will discuss a new labor agreement with NFL owners, who opted out of the current collective bargaining agreement last year.
If a new contract isn't completed in the next two years, a work stoppage is a possibility for the 2011 season.
Smith, a trial lawyer and litigation partner at Washington-based Patton Boggs, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have spoken to each other and expressed a desire to get a deal done.
"This guy has the ability to look at the bigger picture instead of an NFL point of view," Ellis said of Smith. "The NFL and professional sports are a big part of our financial stability, and we have to protect that." ___ (c) 2009, The Dallas Morning News.
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