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Time for Tony Pollard to Start Cutting Into Ezekiel Elliott’s Workload?

A Tony Pollard promotion and Ezekiel Elliott demotion could be coming.

The Dallas Cowboys Week 6 performance on Monday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals was yet another example of the abysmal play we’ve come to expect from them this season. We can contribute it to injuries, poor plays, or turnovers, however, if we’re being truthful with ourselves the Cowboys simply aren’t any good this year.

With that in mind, it might be time for Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff to make some tough decisions. One such might be to lessen Ezekiel Elliott’s workload moving forward in order to get Tony Pollard more offensive snaps. Something looks a little off with Zeke this season and a running back by committee approach could be what’s best for the team.

The entire Dallas Cowboys running game has been hampered this season due to the fact they’ve been forced to play from behind in just about every game this year. Injuries to the offensive line is a huge factor in that as well. Despite that though, No. 21 has become somewhat of a problem and it mostly has to do with his failure to hold on the ball.

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Ezekiel Elliott’s five NFL seasons, through six games:2016 – 137att, 703yds, 5TD, 2fmb*2017 – 131 att, 540yds, 4TD, 0fmb2018 – 117att, 586yds, 3TD, 2fmb*2019 – 113att, 491yds, 5TD, 1fmb2020 – 101att, 413yds, 5TD, 5fmb*(*2016 & 2018 – 1 fumble lost; 2020 – 4 fumbles lost)

As you can see, Zeke’s numbers for the most part aren’t that far off than in years past. What is off about him is the fact he’s suddenly developed ball security issues. In just six games already he’s already fumbled the ball as much as he has in his previous four seasons in the NFL. To make matters worse, four of those five fumbles the opposition has recovered.

Ezekiel Elliott is one of the big reasons why the Dallas Cowboys are the worst team in the league in regards to the turnover differential. To make matters worse, many of those turnovers have resulted in points. Despite all of that though, Zeke is still handling the lions share of the workload. A small demotion though could be on the way.

If I were Mike McCarthy, I’d seriously consider going to a running back by committee approach moving forward. Ezekiel Elliott clearly isn’t getting the message his fumbling has become an issue and Tony Pollard without a doubt deserves more playing time. Instead of it being a 80/20 timeshare like it has been, I’d like to see more of a 60/40 like it was against the Arizona Cardinals.

I really believe No. 20 might be a better fit for what the Dallas Cowboys need right now. With a makeshift offensive line the running lanes are closing up quicker than they have in the past. Zeke’s patience to allow things to develop is actually hurting his production in my opinion. Tony Pollard on the other hand is getting skinny and bursting through before things get clogged up.

I know it’s hard to justify demoting Ezekiel Elliott considering his talent and the amount of money he’s making, however, sometimes you just have to do what’s best for the team. In this case, I think going to more of a timeshare could be just what it takes to get the Dallas Cowboys running game back on track. It might not solve all of the Cowboys problems, but it’s a start.

Do you think Tony Pollard should see more playing time moving forward?

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. Can definitely agree with your point. Zeke has not been good. Just not sure, with this patched up O-line, any back will prosper all the well. But of course, giving Pollard more touches makes sense at this juncture. Would even consider giving Rico a couple of touches, as he may have more quickness and jump cut ability, which may be needed with this O-line. Brian, I know in past articles you have mentioned bringing in FAs to shore up our thin positions, which the front office refuses to do. Now, for example, look at our O-line, decimated. Heard B Knight went down now. Any thoughts on why they refuse.

    • I honestly have no idea why they aren’t bringing in any free agent help. I think there are several players out there who can come in and help immediately, which makes it all the more confusing why the Dallas Cowboys are refusing to do so.

  2. I’m not sure either, but Covid, has got to impact their thinking, knowing they’ve lost a ton of money and the salary cap shrinking next year. You can already see the importance of Prescott and they’ve got to have him at a figure they can spread over a number of years. D. Lawrence is lacking that War-Daddy fire they need for some reason. They are also missing the cover skills and versatility of Byron Jones, but I guess you can’t keep everyone. The Salary-Cap rules have definitely not worked in our favor !

    • Something is definitely amiss. Hardly anybody’s playing up to their normal standards, but whether it’s COVID or something else I don’t know.

  3. I am totally in favor of more snaps for Pollard. Ever since he joined the team we have heard about his ability and how the Cowboys were looking forward to integrating him into the offense. The time has definitely arrived. He has much more ability to make things happen on his own than Zeke. I thought Zeke should have ridden the bench until at least half time. I was shocked when they took Pollard out after he had helped them march quickly down the field. The tolerance for mistakes and lack of production is just more of the same that Cowboys have observed since the Johnson regime ended. Football teams thrive when every teammate has to earn it and own it. Zeke has done neither since signing his fat, mostly guaranteed contract. Many other backs that are paid far less than him are totally outclassing him. All he is right now is a name and a salary and that name is meaning less and less as the weeks go by….to bad the salary does not diminish with his returns.

    • Very well said Todd. I’ve been a fan of No. 21, but I’m beginning to think the Cowboys may be better without him moving forward.

  4. I would try like hell to trade both Zeke and Lawrence before the trade deadline. Because of their contract and production it’s not likely we would get much. But any draft pick is better then nothing, and it gets those big contracts off the books, and allows us more flexibility moving forward.

    This team needs to be purged of its fat and underachieving overpaid players. When Lawrence and Elliott are ur highest pd players on each side of the ball, u got problems.

  5. Gary B I totally agree the fat contracts have always doomed Dallas! Jerry Jones loves the glamour of big contracts dez-Elliot-Lawrence-smith and big contracts on other teams same results the players lose their competitive edge !

  6. The time has come for Tony to step up in more ways than one. His consistent brain farts on special teams haven’t given much confidence in the fans but now Zeke’s recent SNAFU’s have put Tony in the light.

  7. overrated RB now exposed with a non-probowl OL. Zeke should have been let walk after he decided he was going to hold out. JJ again got fleeced. Now the team is struggling – who would have ever guessed (besides everyone)

  8. I am a fan of one of the Cowboys biggest rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. That being said I think your biggest issue is the HC. Mike McCarthy’s offensive schemes are quite simply antiquated and bringing in Mike Nolan to run the D was not a good idea at all. This man wasted a number of years of Aaron Rodgers’ career and now he’ll do the same with Dak unless Emperor Jerry gets over his overwhelming need for gratification. Jimmy Johnson was one of your greatest coaches and when he started getting a good share of the credit and accolades Jerry fired him. Mike McCarthy and the great Ego are ruining your team’s future.

  9. Zeke is our guy. All of you on Tony s nuts are going to feel crazy when he gets hit and injured. Look this is management and coaching fault. They make players bad. The o line sucks so zeke been getting beat up protecting qb. Our o line cant even create gaps. Anything that helped Zeke is now gone. Jerry is always creating some kind of unhealthy competition on this team that does nothing but give a player a complex.. It happened with Dez. Want to see old Zeke? Fire Kellin Moore. Fire up o- line and lets support our bell cow. Yeah money is involved, but the moods from falling off heavenly type cliffs after experiencing success like 2014,2016 is sorta depressing. Which could be devastating without the right leadership to pull the team out of these sink holes. Or we can watch Zeke go…………and win a Superbowl with another team.

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