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    Sean’s Scout: Tony Pollard’s Usage Makes Cowboys Backfield Tandem Dangerous

    Tony Pollard had a career game in week two against the Chargers, carrying 13 times for 109 yards. Both of these stats fall just short of career highs, with 14 carries in 2019 against Washington and 131 yards against the Rams earlier that same season. Pollard also caught three passes for 31 yards, his third best receiving game with the Cowboys.

    Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore deserves a lot of credit for his game plans through two weeks, showing the ability to adjust while also sticking to what the Cowboys and QB do well. This is clear when looking at Pollard's usage at Los Angeles.

    Instead of giving away that Pollard was getting the ball with his 21 snaps, the Cowboys ran their RB2 out of formations they'll throw from as well. was on the field for two of Pollard's carries, and 12 of his touches came as consecutive plays – allowing the timing to be established behind this Dallas OL.

    The Cowboys first touchdown came on this sweep to Pollard, with in motion. Whether it was a receiver or , the Cowboys using motion on Pollard's touches was a common theme. At times this allowed them to set the with TE , or create space in the for Pollard.

    Even when the Cowboys ran Pollard out of tight formations that Elliott typically sees, his burst created big plays. Following a 16 yard run in the first quarter, the Cowboys ran Pollard with and stacked at the top of the formation. The result was a six yard gain to set up second and short, which Pollard picked up with his third straight touch, a dump off pass with Schultz in motion the opposite way.

    Pollard consistently made the first man miss when he needed to, even getting around for a six yard gain in the second quarter before running out of the shotgun on the next snap for four more. On this carry, the Cowboys used the threat of Dak Prescott keeping the ball to hold the Chargers front seven.

    and both looked like the All-Pro linemen they are on Pollard's longest rush of 28 yards in the third quarter. Amari Cooper motioned behind the line before the play, keying that the Cowboys were likely running it, but the Chargers still allowed Martin and Smith to climb to the second level and create space for Pollard.

    Smith even lined up out wide for this screen pass to Pollard, a first down catch after the fake to Elliott. In their loss to Tampa Bay, the Cowboys knew they needed to air the ball out to keep up with and the Bucs. Los Angeles looked to slow this game down and limit the Cowboys possessions, but Moore kept the Chargers on their heels thanks to the Cowboys' depth at WR and now RB.

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    In a longer 17 game season now, the Cowboys need for a legitimate backup to Elliott has never been greater. Tony Pollard is filling this role perfectly through two games, with Elliott supporting him fully. Both bring different skills to the Cowboys backfield, but Pollard's ability to put his foot in the ground and cut similarly to Elliott against the Chargers was impressive.

    Two of the Cowboys top five rushing outputs last season came against this week's opponent, the . One was a win behind at QB, the other a loss in 's only career start. Monday's game being the Cowboys home and division opener, I expect Moore's to creatively feature both Elliott and Pollard out of the backfield.

    The Eagles rank 29th through two games in pass yards per attempt allowed, something the Cowboys can change quickly with the vertical threat of Lamb and Cooper. Should they take their shots in the passing game early, look for more touches on the outside for Pollard where the Cowboys can block in space against a smaller .

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    Sean Martin
    Sean Martinhttp://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/
    Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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    gary b

    It’s up to Moore to determine how to creatively use both. But I think Pollard has earned the right to get equal carries. Opponents, situations within the game and how well each is playing should be determining factor. And if one is playing better then the other don’t be afraid to roll with the hot hand. It should be all about winning and playing the best players, but this is the Cowboys and Jerry Jones we are talking about.

    VAM

    Agree gary b, TP definitely earn the right. This may be a good situation, keeping the duo somewhat fresh. TP has the better burst and wiggle, while EE still shows signs of a nose for the goal line in short yardage situation running straight ahead.

    Off topic, Armstrong, Watkins are out for Eagles. Couple of others iffy. Next man up!

    Cowboy Fan Ed

    Just a couple of weeks back we were being feed the noise of how much quicker EE is this year and he is in top notch shape which may be true! But if a person watching a game can’t see the difference in the speed of EE and TP they better get their glasses checked! EE definitely has a place in this offense do does TP! Use them both and let’s win some more games!