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.
Ezekiel Elliott’s five NFL seasons, through six games:
2016 — 137att, 703yds, 5TD, 2fmb*
2017 — 131 att, 540yds, 4TD, 0fmb
2018 — 117att, 586yds, 3TD, 2fmb*
2019 — 113att, 491yds, 5TD, 1fmb
2020 — 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.