Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard hit the fasted speed reached by a Cowboys ball-carrier this season and beat his own record last week by hitting 21.17 MPH as he sailed to the end zone for a 58-yard touchdown in Thursday Night Football. This speedy dash marked the longest run for a Cowboy this season and helped extend the team’s lead against the New Orleans Saints by 10 points.
The play quickly became a momentum-changer – pun intended. The 24-year-old finished the matchup with 71 yards on just seven carries.
With RB1 Ezekiel Elliott still nursing a knee bruise, Pollard has really stepped up for Dallas. Pollard has earned his spot in the highlight reels with this 58-yarder from Week 13 and his 100-yard kickoff return in Week 12 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
So, if Pollard has the finesse, is fully healthy, and is capable of making big-play moments, why do the Cowboys insist on making Elliott play on a hurt knee?
Cowboys’ Tony Pollard should take Ezekiel Elliott’s spot as RB No. 1
We all want to see Elliott succeed. But anyone who has watched the former No. 4 overall draft pick in his career knows that he isn’t playing his best. Not only did he rush for a mere 45 yards on 13 carries, but Elliott also looked visibly hurt, even to the untrained eye. That performance marks Elliott’s fourth straight game with less than 50 yards.
If the Cowboys want to make a serious run in the playoffs (at the time of writing, ESPN reports the Cowboys have a 98.7% chance of making the playoffs), they should strongly consider starting Pollard and giving Elliott some much-needed rest.
There’s no denying that the rushing game needs help in a big way. If you took away Pollard’s touchdown and CeeDee Lamb’s big screen pass in the Thursday Night Football game, the Cowboys only managed to amass a dismal 55 rushing yards. This is coming from a team that led the league in rushing yards earlier this year.
Think we are jumping the gun? Turns out that Pollard has out-performed Elliott in all three of his NFL seasons in yards per carry.
- Elliott: 4.5 in 2019, 4.0 in 2020, and 4.4 so far in 2021
- Pollard: 5.3 in 2019, 4.3 in 2020, and 5.6 so far in 2021
While there are many issues for the Cowboys to improve upon, in this case, all roads lead to Tony Pollard. Give Ezekiel Elliott time to rest so that he can be 100% ready to go for the playoffs.