Do the Dallas Cowboys suddenly have a running back competition on their hands? Probably not, but Tony Pollard's Week 15 performance against the San Francisco 49ers has certainly opened some eyes and earned him a growing fan base around Cowboys Nation.
There's a large contingency of Dallas Cowboys fans who have been begging to see Tony Pollard more involved offensively all season and finally got their wish last Sunday against the 49ers. In his first career start No. 20 accumulated a total of 132 total yards and two touchdowns on just 18 touches on the ground and through the air. That production has only increased fans hunger for more.
I certainly don't disagree. Tony Pollard's electric anytime he touches the ball. It doesn't matter if it's as a runner or receiver, you know any time he has the ball in his hands he has a chance to take it to the house. He proved just that when he was unexpectedly thrust into the starting role last week after Ezekiel Elliott was forced to sit out with a calf injury.
With the Ezekiel Elliott expected return for the Week 16 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, Tony Pollard could unfortunately be relegated to backup duties once again. It's unfortunate considering how well he played as the lead back against the 49ers, but that's looking like how the chips may fall.
I don't know what the coaching staff's plans are, but I for one think Tony Pollard deserves the right to not only start once again but also handle the lions share of the work load. I think they'd wise to see what he can do against Fletcher Cox and Company, one of the better run defenses in the NFL, to find out what kind of player he truly is.
Up to now Tony Pollard has really only shown flashes of his potential, but not really any consistency. It's not his fault of course having to play second fiddle to Ezekiel Elliott, however, before anyone can even think of him as anything more than a RB2 he has to prove he's worthy. If it were me, I'd use these final two games against the Eagles and Giants to find out for sure.
Now I don't say all of this to fuel the whole trade or release Zeke talk because his $90 million contract makes that next to impossible unless the Dallas Cowboys are willing to eat a lot of dead money. I said all of this because I want to find out exactly what the Cowboys have in Tony Pollard.
For future purposes it would be great to know if No. 20 can be the playmaker he was against the 49ers on a consistent basis. If not, the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff needs to figure out a happy balance between him and Zeke to get the best out of both players. Starting Tony Pollard the remainder of the 2020 season would go a long ways determining just that.