Ellis Hopes for Big Day

Greg Ellis

Each time the Dallas Cowboys played the Washington Redskins last year, the 'Skins were without RT Jon Jansen, the leader of their offensive line and one half of a strong pair of bookend tackles in the nation's capital.

Jansen missed the entire season after blowing out his Achilles tendon in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game. Jansen is back for the Redskins -- sort of. The sixth-year tackle has resumed his spot on the right side of the Washington offensive line and has reclaimed his role as the unit's unquestioned leader.

But Jansen isn't completely back. You might say he's back, but he's no longer complete. The 6-foot-6, 308-pounder broke a thumb in practice two weeks ago, and played in Washington's season-opening victory over Chicago with a cast on his hand. In the game, he broke the other thumb. Washington fans have referred to Jansen as a modern-day version of the Hogs, their famous offensive line from the Super Bowl teams in head coach Joe Gibbs' first tenure with the team -- in part for his blocking ability, and in part for his toughness. During his first four seasons, he became somewhat infamous among Redskin loyalists for playing through injuries.

So it wasn't surprising to see Jansen suited up against the Bears. Nor is it surprising that he has said he'll simply tape up the cast on his new broken thumb and join his teammates Monday night against the Cowboys in Texas Stadium.

Dallas DE Greg Ellis was asked how he anticipates the casts will affect Jansen … other than the fact that Jansen will be unable to hold.

"He doesn't hold," Ellis said, tongue planted firmly in cheek. "He's one of those offensive linemen who doesn't hold. He's a great football player, and he'll have a hard time holding."

The biggest beneficiary, Ellis said, of Jansen's twin injuries will be NT La'Roi Glover -- who doesn't line up across from either tackle.

"La'Roi's going to have a big game," Ellis said of his linemate, who sat about five feet away, shaking his head. "They're going to send two or three guys to help out Jansen, so (Glover) will get single blocking all night."

Jokes aside, Ellis said he anticipates Jansen will be plenty effective against the Cowboys Monday night.

"They should just tape up his hands into two fists," Ellis said.

"If he wasn't able to go out there and get something done, he wouldn't be out there. They're not going to send him out there with two nubs."

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