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Has Tony Pollard Forced the Cowboys Into a RB Timeshare in 2020?

A RB timeshare could be mutually beneficial for Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott.

Ezekiel Elliott’s days of being the Dallas Cowboys workhorse running back could be coming to an end. He’s handled the lion’s share of the workload since entering the league in 2016, but it might be time for him to dial it back just a bit. He has none other than RB Tony Pollard to thank for that.

Tony Pollard proved more than capable of lightening the load on Zeke’s shoulders last season, yet No. 21 still played 83.59% of the offensive snaps compared to Pollard’s 17.75%, the majority of that coming in the first three weeks of the season. Just about anybody would tell you Pollard deserved more playing time last year, but for whatever reason finding the right balance never happened.

Ezekiel Elliott is a rarity in the NFL right now. He is one of the few true workhorse running backs still in the league. Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore is going to have to figure out the right balance of how to use both Zeke and Tony Pollard in 2020. That means we could see more of a running back timeshare this season.

Tony Pollard’s electrifying play as a rookie last season has pretty much forced the Cowboys into finding a way to get him more involved in the offensive game plan from week to week. Leaving him to feed off the measly scraps Zeke leaves is no longer acceptable. He deserves more touches, but that’s easier said than done.

The Dallas Cowboys offense is absolutely stacked full of weapons. There are so many mouths to feed and just so much time in any given game to get everyone involved. Tony Pollard no doubt should see an increase in playing time and here’s a reminder just in case you’ve forgotten why.

Tony Pollard | Rookie Highlights | 2019 Season

Tony Pollard Dallas Cowboys Highlights. Pollard showed some serious potential in his rookie year. – 86 carries | 455 yards | 5.3 avg | 2 TD | 30.3 YPG 15 rec…

Tony Pollard is a dynamic weapon that absolutely needs to be utilized more moving forward. It doesn’t matter if his touches increase as a runner, receiver, or gadget player. The Dallas Cowboys have to find some way to get the ball in his hands more often.

Fortunately, I don’t believe a drastic change in playing time is needed in order to get Tony Pollard more involved. I think an average of 6-10 touches a game in whatever capacity could absolutely be doable and have the desired effect everyone is hoping for. That will both increase Pollard’s playing time and decrease Zeke’s a little to help keep him as strong and healthy as possible.

Finding 6-10 touches a game should be easily doable for a versatile offensive weapon like Tony Pollard. Like I mentioned earlier, he can be utilized as a runner, receiver, or gadget player on any given play and should be used as such. It’s up to Kellen Moore to figure out how to accomplish that and still keep Ezekiel Elliott happy/productive.

There’s no reason for Ezekiel Elliott to handle more than 80% of the workload again in 2020 with someone as capable as Tony Pollard backing him up. I think more of a 70/30 split is more than reasonable and something both players could be happy with. Zeke still remains the lead dog without giving up too much and Pollard would get the increased playing time he so rightfully deserves.

Regardless of how things shake out this season this is a good problem for the Dallas Cowboys to have. There’s no doubt in my mind Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard will be a fantastic RB duo, the only question I have is will it be in more of a timeshare? If I were a betting man… I’d say yes.

Would you like to see Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard in a RB timeshare?

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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  1. I think you hit the nail on the head, Pollard can be used in so many different ways this season. Nt just change of pace back but he can spell Zeke at times for a entire drive. The kid needs more touches and I believe that the HC and OC sees it the same way.

  2. The PROS to increasing Pollard’s playing time:
    As stated, he’s the only real homerun hitter the club has. Ten touches a game should produce some big plays over the course of a season. But he absolutely must be used in every way imaginable. It won’t do any good to put him in Jet motion if he never gets the ball … DC’s will sniff out the tendencies quickly. Everywhere he lines up, he must actually threaten the man across from him as a truly viable option on the play.

    By the time his contract is up, we need to know how to handle him and Zeke. At that time, Zeke might be cuttable and Pollard could prove himself a cheaper full-time option at RB. Else, if he shines but Zeke is still getting all his touches, Pollard will go elsewhere to shine.

    Pollard could become this team’s Ty Montgomery and actually serve as the WR4. He and Lamb in the slots could do so much for Jarwin as well, or Jarwin racing up the seam will allow the slots to dominate.

    Keeping Zeke fresh and maybe adding an additional 2 years to being an effective back.

    Screen passes landing in Pollard’s hand with Martin and Collins out ahead of him!

    The key is … he has to actually get used in every phase, the decoy thing won’t work.

    The CONS to increasing Pollard’s playing time:
    I can’t think of one, unless you just think should get the ball 30 times a game.

    Perhaps one area of importance would be Pollard needing to prove he can get that 3rd-and-1 yardage. If he’s a valid option for that effort, then on 3rd-and-1 with him in the backfield, defenses might be less likely to be able to crash the line?

  3. I would love to see Pollard get more touches. He seems to have an explosive element and big play capability about him. Granted the sample size is small so I’ll temper my excitement a bit. Plus obviously he isn’t a big guy so his blocking could be compromised. Would like to see an 80-20 split between him and Zeke which would also keep Zeke fresh for the stretch run. This coaching staff will have a big challenge as to how to efficiently and effectively use all the weapons at their disposal.

  4. The price is wrong Bob (Brian). Pollard should be getting a 60-40 split at minimum. Zeke is a fumbler and his pass catching is atrocious. He tips balls in the air and falls down like Tommy Lasorda on a foul ball. Zeke has become a liability on 3rd down and is becoming an automatic 3 yard gain on 1st down, with that being the ceiling. He is a JAG – which is still good for all RBs, but not as far as the NFL is concern. He is a backup disguised as a workhorse. Thanks, JJ – your brilliance shines again – NOT !

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