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RB Tony Pollard is Among the Elite According to Pro Football Focus

PFF’s analytics suggests Tony Pollard as an elite RB.

When you put up 132 total yards and score two touchdowns in your first career start like Tony Pollard did last week against the San Francisco 49ers people tend to take notice. Pro Football Focus certainly did and has recently released some statistics that puts the Dallas Cowboys second-year running back in elite company.

According to Pro Football Focus, Tony Pollard is in the Top 5 in several key areas used to measure how effective a running back is by NFL standards. These numbers put him shoulder to shoulder with running backs like Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb, two of the more dominant RBs in the league the past few years.

https://twitter.com/PFF_Fantasy/status/1341375475822804994

Tony Pollard’s yards after contact per attempt compared to Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb is one of the more surprising stats PFF has shared in my opinion. At 6’0, 210 Pollard is at least 20 pounds lighter then Chubb (5’11”, 227) and nearly 40 pounds lighter than Henry (6’3″, 247). I think this is a testament to just how physical Pollard is despite his smaller stature compared to others.

According to PFF, Tony Pollard is ranked first in picking up yards after contact per attempt and forcing missed tackles per attempt since 2019. They also give him a rushing grade that ranks him in the Top 5 in the NFL as well.

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Tony Pollard since 2019:4th in PFF rushing grade (89.8)1st in YAC per attempt (4.2)1st in forced missed tackles per attempt (0.25) pic.twitter.com/s9AVkFl5mJ

As impressive as PFF’s grades are for Tony Pollard they are a little out of context. As we know, No. 20 plays second fiddle to Ezekiel Elliott with the Dallas Cowboys and receives a fraction of the touches because of it. So, putting him in the company of Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb is a little unfair considering they receive at least twice as many touches as Pollard.

Despite all of that though, Tony Pollard’s numbers are still really impressive. It would be really interesting to see what he could do as a full-time starter and whether or not he would still grade out so well. If the 49ers game was any indication, I certainly wouldn’t bet against him being just as effective as a lead back in the NFL.

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. Brian, I have loved your articles for the last few years (really ever since your articles became available) and continue to enjoy them and our shared opinions about the Cowboys.
    Outstanding, Sir and great insight. I think if they tried to use Pollard as a featured back then we’d have the same problem we had with Marion Barber; he’d be great for about 5 years and then the constant beating would shorten his career due to his smaller stature yet great heart.
    Since we’re stuck with paying him, let Elliott have the bulk of the carries, while using Tony for more Dynamic Plays since he has breakaway speed. 20 – 25 touches a game should do it. Zeke should be good for at least 2-3 more seasons. Then we can find a stud later in the Draft in a couple of years. Sounds good to me. I can’t wait to shed Elliott’s contract (along with Jaylon’s) so we can find cheaper, more effective players to fill those vital spots.
    As long as we don’t completely ignore adding to the OL, we should, with smart drafting and use of our Picks, be able to add another starting-caliber CB, perhaps a starting-caliber Safety, although I’ve read that this Class is weak at FS. Maybe drafting a DT and signing a DA FS is the answer, I don’t know. I just know we need to fix our D quickly, sign our QB long term and then during the next 10 year KC Dynasty we may get a shot or two of getting to the SB. Hopefully, either KC gets eliminated earlier or we’re ACTUALLY GOOD ENOUGH to defeat Kansas City straight up (if we are, wake me up after I pass out with a smile on my face).

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