The 25-year-old Running back Tony Pollard is having a great year so far with the Cowboys. After a great game against the Chicago Bears, it's time to learn more about this dark horse running back that can magically make big plays out of nothing.
In his early stages of life, Tony was born right in the heart of Memphis Tennessee. When he attended Melrose Highschool (also located in Memphis) Tony played in both cornerback and wide receiver positions. While there, Tony helped the team make the playoffs with his 1,200 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns during his seasons there.
This sparked the University of Memphis to scout him out and offer him a scholarship that he would accept. As a freshman, Pollard accomplished something that not many players in college do. Pollard finished among the national leaders in kickoff return average yards in his first year. Having 28.1 yards per average return and two touchdowns off returns would make him the AAC special team player of the year.
In the next year, he would be even more successful with 36 catches for 536 yards and 30 carries for 230 yards. This was already huge, but to add to his fame, he also repeated his honor of AAC special team player of the year award with 22 returns for 881 yards and four touchdowns.
As his junior year rolled along, his career would only be getting better. This year with 78 catches for a total of 552 yards, 39 carries for 458 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Memphis played Wake Forest in The Birmingham Bowl where Tony racked up 318 all-purpose yards.
If you were to guess that Tony had an even better senior year, you'd be right. This year was more focused on his punt and kick returns. Pollard tied an FBS record of seven total touchdowns on kick returns in the 2018 season. 2,616 kickoff return yards were also recorded by him. Not to mention his 4,680 all-purpose yards for the season, what a haul-in for Tony.
As you would assume, Tony declared for the NFL draft. With the stats Tony had, you'd think he would be a good 2nd-3rd round pick, however, he wasn't selected until round four as the 128th overall pick. He was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys and started his new journey in the big league.
Pollard found success quickly, as in week three against the Miami Dolphins Tony finished with 103 rushing yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. Obviously, the Cowboys made a good decision drafting him. Tony closed out his first year with 86 carries for 455 rushing yards. A pretty good start in the NFL.
While the 2020 season was similar to the 2019 season for Pollard, Tony still had 435 rushing yards and 192 receiving yards on the year. This is also when he was named the main kick returner for the Cowboys with 766 total yards on kick returns.
In 2021, Pollard grew much more as a player, gaining 719 yards rushing and 337 yards receiving. He has 489 yards on kick returns however one of those was a 100-yard touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Now as we are halfway through the 2022 NFL season, Tony has already accomplished so much with 506 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season. It is so great to see a young player from a nonpower 5 conference team go from that to a Dallas Cowboys that's on the verge of becoming the starting running back. Tony has come a long way and has had a lot of stats over the years, he's a great player and I hope he stays with Dallas for as long as he can.