If being down to Garrett Gilbert at quarterback wasn’t bad enough, the Dallas Cowboys are now expecting to be without Running Back Ezekiel Elliott for tomorrow’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Elliott has been battling a hamstring issue and is reportedly not likely to play in Week 9.
The Cowboys will use 2nd-year RB Tony Pollard as their starter tomorrow and rookie Rico Dowdle will be the backup. Dallas has called up RB/FB Sewo Olonilua from the practice squad to complete the depth chart.
Cowboys are preparing to be without RB Ezekiel Elliott (hamstring) on Sunday vs. Steelers. Team has elevated FB Sewo Olonilua from practice squad. More backfield depth behind Tony Pollard, Rico Dowdle if Elliott inactive. Mike McCarthy has said Elliott to have pregame workout.
Remarkably, this would be the first time that Zeke has missed a game due to an injury. He sat out of one game in each of the 2016 and 2018 seasons, both the Week 17 finales as the Cowboys rested up for the playoffs. He missed six games in 2017 for his infamous suspension.
Despite his stardom, Elliott’s absence tomorrow may not hurt the Cowboys offense nearly much as some others. Pollard has shown he can be an effective player in the offense, though has never had a consistent diet of touches to establish himself as an offensive weapon.
And frankly, the Steelers defense is going to make life hard for whoever plays. They are currently 3rd-overall in yards allowed and 5th against the run.
The Cowboys do get their bye week following this game so Elliott should be back for Week 11. But for those who wanted to see Tony Pollard get a chance at the spotlight, you finally get an opportunity.
Unfortunately, given the competition and the situation at QB, any Cowboy finding success tomorrow may be too much to ask.