There are lots players we’re excited to see when the Dallas Cowboys’ 2020 season begins. One guy who I find especially intriguing is Running Back Tony Pollard, whose solid rookie season was hopefully just a preview of big things to come.
Pollard was every bit of the speedster that we expected after the Cowboys selected him in the 4th Round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He showed it on offense and on special teams as the kick returner.
But Tony was more well-rounded a RB than those initial scouting reports and draft analyses led us to believe. He’s closer to Chris Johnson than Darren Sproles in terms of body type and ability as a runner, but does have good pass-catching skills as a former WR himself.
Yes, we learned last year that Pollard is a true RB and not just an offensive gadget player. And with the change in the Cowboys’ coaching staff from Jason Garrett to Mike McCarthy, there’s potential that Tony could be a lot more than Ezekiel Elliott’s backup.
McCarthy has a more modern, less conservative offensive mind than Garrett. He will hopefully have more ideas for how to use Pollard on both run and pass plays. Mike should also give Kellen Moore additional latitude to get creative as the offensive coordinator.
Of course, Zeke is still the primary weapon at RB. We hope that McCarthy’s arrival will have the same effect on him, getting better use out of Elliott’s own versatile skill set.
But Pollard brings a quickness and top speed that Elliott simply doesn’t, making him more ideal for certain plays and matchups. The Cowboys need to exploit those opportunities more than they did in 2019.
As Zeke turns 25 next month and enters his fifth NFL season there’s added incentive for making Pollard a bigger part of the offense. Elliott is as tough and durable as they come, but reducing his mileage a little in the coming years will make him more effective throughout games and hopefully better in the later years of his contract.
Ezekiel will always be Batman. But perhaps Pollard can go from being Robin to The Flash.
There are lots of correct answers for “Most Intriguing Cowboy of 2020.” We’re all excited to see what CeeDee Lamb’s got or how Blake Jarwin does in his starting role, and they’re just two of about 20 good answers.
Tony Pollard is definitely near the top of my list. I think he can be a killer in this offense, especially now that we have a West Coast head coach who will be better suited to utilizing Tony’s speed and receiving skills.