The Cowboys have two very good running backs. And they apparently plan to get both of them on the field at the same time.
They dabbled with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard playing together in the past, but it never became something that was sustained. This year, with Pollard adding the role of slot receiver, it could be.
As explained by Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Pollard has been working directly with offensive assistant Kyle Valero to learn Pollard’s new alternate role.
“Just details like route-running, getting in and out of breaks, why we’re running certain plays and what’s the meaning behind them,” Pollard said, via Gehlken. “We’re getting into the depth of why we’re doing the things that we’re doing, so it will make more sense in the big picture. . . . It just shows the hard work that I’ve put in.”
Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has made it clear that Pollard will get more chances in 2022.
“He’s a guy that we want to get the ball to,” Moore said, via Gehlken. “He’s had a ton of success when he does get those opportunities. So, I think the running back role is one thing, certainly when Zeke and him can kind of tag-team that role. But then it’s another opportunity for him to expand that role and play in some different positions, out in space and some of the things that certainly he’s capable of doing. . . . I think the more we expand those roles, the more opportunities we’ll be able to get out there and get touches.”
That’s good for the Cowboys (who are a little thin at receiver, with James Washington injured), and very good for Pollard. He’s entering the last year of his rookie deal, at a salary of $969,000 in 2022. To get paid a lot more by the Cowboys or someone else, Pollard needs to be able to show what he can do — and to do it, a lot.
Even with Elliott atop the depth chart at tailback, Pollard will indeed be even more of a factor in 2022.
He definitely was in 2021. Last year, Pollard had 719 rushing yards (5.5 yards per carry) and 337 receiving yards. If he’s ever the full-time guy in Dallas or elsewhere, he could potentially be a superstar.