It's starting to appear that the Dallas Cowboys may have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the running back position. Rookie Mike Weber averaged almost a thousand yards per season on nearly six yards per carry in college and he's a third-stringer. All-Pro Ezekiel, who is currently in the middle of a holdout as he seeks a new contract, is considered by most as the best in the NFL as far as ball carriers are concerned. Now, it's becoming clear that there's another potential star in the making on the RB depth chart with rookie Tony Pollard who hasn't stopped turning heads since he stepped on the field.
Outstanding run by Tony Pollard for the TD. #Cowboys https://t.co/gXg3AAVc5C
Another angle on Tony Pollard's TD run. #Cowboys https://t.co/lPbFAcVz26
The videos above show a touchdown run by Pollard during the Cowboys annual Blue-White scrimmage at training camp. So many of his attributes are displayed in this particular play. He has patience, great vision, the ability to change directions without losing speed and feet that never stop moving. You'd lucky to find a running back with just a couple of these outstanding traits, Pollard gives you that all in one package.
During last Friday's practice, Pollard showed off an underrated skill that's vital to becoming a complete running back, pass blocking. Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith was one of the best blocking running backs in NFL history. Ezekiel Elliott is probably the best amongst active running backs. Pollard demonstrated on this particular play that he's willing to get physical and does a nice job on Linebacker Jaylon Smith who was applying pressure to Dak Prescott. Seeing as Pollard will be in on a lot of third downs when he sees the field, which could mean a lot of passing plays depending on the flow of the game, it's encouraging to know Dak Prescott has a reliable extra pass blocker with the rookie on the field.
Pollard has impressed Prescott quite a bit during that last week as training camp commenced in Oxnard, Ca. Giving the diamond in the rough some high-level praise when asked what he's seen so far.
“When we’re in the offense, we’re in the offensive units, we’re in the team meetings and Coach calls him out on his responsibility, without a hesitation he’s getting it right,” Prescott said. “That’s what you want to see from a young guy. That’s what the players and coaches want to see, and he’s been delivering.”
"One of the most exciting players to me of this training camp."
Even the boss, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is pleased with what he's seen from the fourth-round pick out of Memphis thus far. Echoing his quarterback's thoughts with these of his own.
“Pollard really showed the ability to plant quick, plant his feet and his quick feet,” Jerry Jones said after the Blue-White scrimmage. “He is obviously about as smooth an athlete and certainly a running back. You saw the flexibility."
“If he continues to get better and better and better, which he’s got to, I think you are going to see a guy who plays early for the Cowboys.”
Pollard was mainly a backup during his days as a Memphis Tiger and he made every play count. He rushed for nearly a thousand yards on 6.8 yards per attempt. When lined up at receiver, he caught 104 passes for 1,292 yards. The most eye-opening stat to me is the 9.2 yards per touch he averaged on the collegiate level, basically a first down every time the ball was in his hands. The Cowboys have a backup running back with an all-around skill set that is comparable to their all-pro starter. As he continues to impress the organization is looking smarter and smarter with this draft pick.
Ezekiel Elliott Continues to Haunt Eagles, has Best Game of the Season
The Dallas Cowboys came into their Week 7 matchup with the arch-rival Philadelphia Eagles on a three-game losing streak and were searching desperately for answers. With first place in the NFC East on the line, it was important for the Cowboys to set a tone and send a message at home in order to avoid going into their bye week with a fourth straight loss. That tone was set by the defense in the first quarter as they forced turnovers on the first two possessions of the game. Conversely, All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott led the offensive attack and continued the dominance he's had over the Eagles throughout his career.
After jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead following a fumble on the Eagle's first possession, the Cowboys made it a two-score game in a matter of seconds. In the video below, Elliott appears to score from 14 yards out but would be ruled down inside the one. What's important to notice is how he sought out Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins and ran him over. Complete "Bully Ball" tactic here and it again sent a message and establish a tone for this game. Elliott would score on the very next play to give the Cowboys a 14-0 lead.
Zeke TRUCKED him 😡 @EzekielElliott https://t.co/x2G4rF2cwU
Elliott had 65 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown as well as 25 yards on four receptions the first half. The Cowboys led 27-7 heading into the third quarter.
The second half saw more of the same as Elliott had 11 touches (9 carries, 2 receptions) for 57 all-purpose yards. In all, Elliott finished with 147 all-purpose yards (111 rushing, 36 receiving) as he spearheaded the Cowboys to a 37-10 beatdown of their most hated division rival.
This game was a continuation of what Elliott has done to the Eagles his entire career. His lowest rushing total against Philadelphia is 96 yards which came in his first-ever game in this historic rivalry back in 2016 as a rookie. He's rushed for least 103 yards every game since and averages 163 all-purpose yards every time he plays Philadelphia. Most importantly, the Cowboys are a perfect 5-0 with Elliott against the Eagles. The only games the Eagles have won against the Cowboys since Elliott came into the NFL was the 2016 season finale and the first of their two matchups in 2017, games Elliott did not play in. Needless to say, Elliott has a big appetite for Eagle meat.
This game also saw Elliott reach another milestone in his short but stellar career. He joined Le'Veon Bell and Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson as the second-fastest players (47 games) to reach 6,000 yards from scrimmage behind Edgerrin James (44 games) in NFL history. Now that's an elite group to be a part of.
The importance of this game was obvious for the Cowboys coming off at three consecutive losses and facing a heated rival for first place. Elliott spoke post-game about how critical this win was:
"This team needed this, especially in the fashion we did it," Elliott said. "Get some momentum for the season and before this bye week so we can close the season out."
Everything you would want to see from Elliott was on display against the Eagles. The speed, power, elusiveness, and ability to make plays in the passing game were all front and center in this game. From an overall standpoint, this was definitely his best performance of the 2019 season.
Now, the Cowboys head into the bye week in first place in the NFC East and regardless of next week's results, they will still be on top when they face the New York Giants on the road on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys will look to remain undefeated in division play and keep pace with the other NFC powerhouses once they return to action.
Where Does Ezekiel Elliott Stand in the 2019 Rushing Title Race?
The Dallas Cowboys finally looked like the team we've all expected them to be against the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday. They played a complete-game and absolutely dominated on both offense and defense. This is the kind of performance they needed heading into the bye week.
As stoked I am by the way the Dallas Cowboys played Sunday night against a divisional opponent, I was even more ecstatic to see Running Back Ezekiel Elliott look like the playmaker he has in the past. He showed excellent vision, speed, and burst, something I really haven't seen him do up to this point of the season.
I know quite a few of you may disagree with me, but No. 21 hasn't really looke2 like himself at any point this season. He did however look like the Zeke of old on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. It good to see and it actually started me wondering where he currently stood in the 2019 rushing title race?
Let's take a look…
I don't know exactly what I expected, but I was little surprised to see Zeke currently sitting at number five amongst the NFL's leading rushers. I don't know if I was expecting him to be a little higher or lower, but he currently finds himself within striking distance to claim his third rushing title in four years.
Ezekiel Elliott is only 123 rushing yards behind Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook right now. Unfortunately, that number will only increase in Week 8 with the Dallas Cowboys on their bye week. But, it could all even out since only Nick Chubb is the only RB ahead of Zeke whose team has also had their bye week. And with half of the season left there is still plenty of time to close the gap.
Ezekiel Elliott may be down right now, but he's definitely not out. He's going to play a huge role in the offensive game plan for the rest of the season and should be able to put himself into contention of earning his third rushing title in four years. But, it won't be easy. The Cowboys schedule only gets tougher from here on out.
What do you think? Will Ezekiel Elliott be the leading rusher in 2019?
Urban Meyer Says He’d “Absolutely” Take Cowboys’ Head Coaching Job
Typically, when a coach is asked about a potential future coaching job that is currently occupied, he'd never openly admit to eyeing that position. He'd dodge the question, lie, and say he's enjoying his time away from the game at the moment.
Former college coach Urban Meyer, however, was extremely clear in how he feels about the potential opening at head coach in Dallas with the Cowboys.
Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd asked Urban Meyer outright if he would take the job if offered, and Meyer made no mistake about it.
While it feels to me like Meyer is breaking some sort of unspoken code between coaches with these comments, it wouldn't be the first time he operated in shady waters.
But I digress.
Of course, Urban Meyer had incredible success at the collegiate level. He won multiple national championships and did a lot of winning at multiple programs. In addition, he was the college coach of Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott, who the team just extended with a monster contract. Meyer also won with quarterbacks who can utilize similar skill-sets to Cowboys starter Dak Prescott, something Jerry Jones and company would want to see in any potential head coaching candidate.
With all that being said, though, it's important to mention the Cowboys head coaching job is not open. At least not yet.
Jason Garrett's contract expires at the end of this season, and unless he can make sure that he continues coaching this team through January, it's seeming increasingly likely that this will be his final contract with the team.
Garrett's Cowboys face their biggest test of the season on Sunday night, with the Philadelphia Eagles coming to Arlington and looking to take first place from their grasps.
This will be the first step of many that Garrett will need to take if he wants to keep the Urban Meyers of the world from coming for his job.
Player News1 day ago
Cowboys Get Good News on Vander Esch, Quinn Injuries After Eagles Game
Dallas Cowboys6 days ago
Jourdan Lewis, the Change the Dallas Cowboys Defense Needs
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Kris Richard: Dallas Cowboys Defense is a “Work in Progress”
Star Blog2 weeks ago
QB Dak Prescott’s “Ups And Downs” Named Cowboys’ Biggest Disappointment
Star Blog1 week ago
Robert Quinn Continues Impressive Start to Cowboys Career
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Ezekiel Elliott’s Carries Have Decreased Three Straight Weeks, Here is Why
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Will, Should Jason Garrett be Coaching for His Job vs the Eagles?
Dallas Cowboys4 days ago
Antonio Brown Could be the Bold Move That Saves the Cowboys 2019 Season