There are players around the NFL whose ego is bigger than the team. Fortunately there’s not a single Dallas Cowboys player on the roster who can be described that way, especially not their star running back Ezekiel Elliott. In fact, he’s one of the first to praise his teammates and did just that when speaking about rookie RB Tony Pollard.
Ezekiel Elliott: “I want to help (Tony Pollard) become the best RB he can be. It doesn’t matter that we might be competing for playing time or anything. I want him to become the best back he can be. It’s definitely rewarding seeing him go out there and have the day he had today.
Tony Pollard of course is coming off his best game since entering the NFL. He turned 13 carries into 103 rushing yards and one touchdown and three catches into 25 receiving yards. That wasn’t quite as good as Zeke’s 19 carries for 125 yards, but naturally the media is going to try to spin it as if No. 21 might have a problem with the rookies production. That doesn’t seem to be the case at all though.
You may have forgotten, but before Ezekiel Elliott headed to Cabo in order to put the pressure on the Cowboys for a long-term extension, he took all of the backup RBs under his wing and even had them over to his house to try and bond. That’s just kind of player/person Zeke is. He not only strives to be the best, but wants his teammates to be the best versions of themselves as well. This includes Tony Pollard.
Not all players are like this though. Just look at what’s going on with Antonio Brown for instance. But with Zeke, he truly wants to see his teammates succeed and is willing to do his part to help them out if he can. As far as Pollard is concerned, it may mean he has to lighten some of his normal workload.
This doesn’t seem to faze Zeke though. In fact, he may be somewhat selfishly hoping this is a sign of things to come. After all, he knows the lifespan of an NFL RB is typically a short one. If he wants to prolong his career he can’t continue to have 400+ touches a season like he’s pretty much done since joining the Cowboys. He even admitted as much… kind of.
Ezekiel Elliott on the 1-2 punch of him and Tony Pollard: “It’s great. If I’m tired or a little banged up or something I come out and he comes in and he’s gashing them. It’s got to be tough on defenses. Good luck to them trying to deal with that the rest of the season.
You may have to read between the lines just a little bit, but make no mistake, Zeke knows how much Tony Pollard cannot only help himself, but the Dallas Cowboys moving forward. As much as that might have him excited though, it sounds as if the potential 1-2 he can form with Pollard has him gushing at the possibilities.
Zeke isn’t wrong though. Both he and Tony Pollard can become the best 1-2 punch the NFL has seen since Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. That was quite a formidable duo that nearly put the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl in 2018, and it’s not so far-fetched to think it can’t happen in Dallas. They certainly looked the part Sunday against the Dolphins.
No matter how this ends up turning out, it’s really good to see Ezekiel Elliott handle this like he is. He could have been a diva about not being on the field to close out the game against the Dolphins or not receiving as many carries as he would’ve liked, but again that’s just not him. He’s a genuine, caring person who truly wants the best for those around him. I personally find that refreshing.