Earlier this week I wrote about how I believe Tony Pollard could prove to be invaluable down the stretch for the Dallas Cowboys. Well, I think that starts this week against the New England Patriots. In fact, I think he could be the Cowboys’ X factor.
I know what you’re probably thinking though. “You’re insane! How can Tony Pollard be the X factor against the Patriots? He’s rarely used by the Cowboys!” You of course wouldn’t be wrong. He hasn’t been utilized as much as many of us would like, but I think that could start to change.
It’s really starting to look as if the Dallas Cowboys have seen the error of their ways in regards to Tony Pollard. Just last week we saw them make more of an effort to get No. 20 more involved in the offensive game plan as both a runner and receiver. I think that will continue this week, especially with the Patriots next upon the schedule.
You see, this Week 12 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots is a strength against strength chess match. It’s the best offense in the league (Cowboys) against the best defense (Patriots). Whichever unit can get the better of the other will likely determine the outcome of this game.
With that in mind, the Dallas Cowboys have to do everything within their power to somehow catch the Patriots defense off guard. Personally, I think this is where Tony Pollard comes in. It may seem strange to suggest such a thing with all of the other offensive weapons the Cowboys have at their disposal, but I truly believe Pollard can be a difference maker.
If there’s a weakness with New England’s defense, it might be with their linebacker core. They are at their best as a downhill, attacking linebackers against the run, but really struggle when asked to play in space or in coverage. This is where I believe Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore needs to attack the Patriots defense and Tony Pollard is the perfect chess piece to use.
The Patriots like to rotate their LBs (Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower) throughout the game to keep them as fresh as possible, but there’s not a single one of them who can match Tony Pollard’s agility and speed. Kellen Moore must take advantage of this mismatch and find some way to get Pollard out in space against anyone of these LBs.
Taking advantage of this mismatch could actually kill two birds with one stone. This could also be the best way for the Dallas Cowboys to get off to a fast start. It’s also probably the best way to discombobulated the Patriots defense and throw them off the game plan. If successful, this could give the Cowboys just the advantage they need to leave Foxboro with a victory.