Source: Dallas seeking deal for Ellis

DALLAS -- Dallas Cowboys veteran outside linebacker Greg Ellis finally may get his wish to be traded or released by the club, as the Cowboys have reached out to at least two teams to measure interest in a deal, according to a club source.

AOL Fanhouse first reported the story Thursday evening, indicating the Cowboys had approached the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals about a possible trade. Ellis has longtime ties to Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who held the same position with the Cowboys.

Ellis, 33, did not participate in Thursday's organized team activities session. If the Cowboys release him, which seems the most likely result, they'll save the $4.15 million he's scheduled to make in 2009.

Ellis' agent, James Williams, told The Dallas Morning News on Thursday that his client was "looking forward to being a Dallas Cowboy [in 2009]," but that his future was out of their hands.

Ellis has grumbled about his role on the team ever since Bill Parcells moved him from defensive end to outside linebacker in 2006, but he hasn't said anything this offseason. Last year, the Cowboys were set to make Anthony Spencer the starter ahead of Ellis, but Spencer couldn't stay on the field because of injuries.

In last month's draft, the Cowboys focused on players who could help them on the pass rush, so Ellis' status became even more tenuous.

Ellis, a former first-round pick, spent eight years at defensive end before being moved to outside linebacker. He excelled at the position and was having a solid season in 2006 when he ruptured his Achilles tendon against the Arizona Cardinals, an injury that contributed to the Cowboys' late-season struggles. He bounced back to have 12.5 sacks in 2007 and made his first Pro Bowl appearance.

If he's released, the Bengals, Patriots and Miami Dolphins could be likely destinations.

Matt Mosley covers the NFC East for ESPN.com.