He showed up for the mandatory minicamp the weekend before, but did not return for the voluntary practice sessions when it became the clear the Cowboys weren't going to meet demands for a new deal.
Now Ellis said he wants the Cowboys to trade or release him.
He will report to training camp in July if he is still on the roster. But he said it would not be a good situation for him or the Cowboys.
"As long as they are committed to me, I will do whatever they want me to do," Ellis said. "If the level of commitment isn't there, how do you expect me to play the kind of roles you want me to play? My heart will not feel the same. It would be best for me to not be here."
Ellis wanted the Cowboys to show some commitment to him by restructuring his contract and giving him a serious financial guarantee by bringing some of the money in his deal forward in a bonus.
His contract runs through 2009 and includes salaries of $2.25 million, $2.5 million, $3.325 million and $4.15 million over the next four years. He has already received a $500,000 roster bonus for 2006. He feels he is playing on a series of one-year deals after being benched last season in favor of Chris Canty because Canty was a better fit for the 3-4.
Ellis still tied for the team lead in sacks with eight and remains one of two proven pass rushers on the team. The Cowboys want him to play linebacker as well as defensive end this season in an effort to increase his role. Ellis has no problems with the move as long as the Cowboys re-do his deal. He believes he will be released at the end of the season if the moves don't work out.
The Cowboys have no intention of meeting Ellis' demands, which has now caused the current stalemate.
"Linebacker is a huge risk," Ellis said. "I hadn't done it in the league. Last year was a risk. I never played (in the 3-4). We know how that worked out. If this doesn't work out or I don't produce, they are not going to keep me around.
"I am taking all the risk. I would like them to share this risk with me."