While some fans are clamoring for Tony Pollard to lead the backfield, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is still a firm believer in Ezekiel Elliott.
The Dallas Cowboys are entering another training camp, preparing to get past the second round of the playoffs. They looked to be in good shape behind the strong play of the defense under coordinator Dan Quinn, but they were shockingly eliminated by the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round. As for the offense, it will look a bit different in the passing game. But when it comes to the running game, it will be highlighted by Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
For those Cowboys fans who want Pollard to get the starter’s reps in the running game, just know that team owner Jerry Jones does not agree. Rather, he feels that Elliott should be the focus of the rushing attack.
Jerry Jones wants Ezekiel Elliott to be focus of run game
“We gotta have Tony Pollard out there. No, seriously, Zeke’s gotta be our feature, and he is our feature,” Jones said, h/t NFL.com. “We can feature him in a lot of different ways. We all recognize what he does in the passing game because of his protection ability. Don’t ever underestimate that especially with Zeke. Zeke takes some tolls when he’s out there as a back blocking. So it’s critical that we make Zeke — because he’s capable of being that — really the focus of what we’re doing. Now then, Pollard, there’s plenty of room for Pollard. There’s plenty of room for Pollard when Zeke’s in there. Pollard needs to get the ball.”
Elliott played in every game this past season, but he was not as productive as he was early on in his career. But, he did suffer a partial tear of his PCL early on in the campaign, and played through it. Even so, his numbers were eye-opening, and not in a good way.
Through the season, Elliott averaged 4.2 yards per carry and a career-low 58.9 rushing yards per game. The latter number is telling, considering he led in rushing yards per game through the first three seasons of his career.
Meanwhile, Pollard thrived when called upon for the Cowboys. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry in 15 games in 2021, putting up a total of 719 rushing yards on130 attempts.
There is always the chance that Elliott can turn things around as the starter. But, the talk from the football world will be loud if Pollard outperforms him while coming off the bench. Not to mention that the NFC East has gotten more competitive, especially with the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders.