There were some rumors that Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard would see more snaps, which could mean star running back Ezekiel Elliot would see his workload cut. Now, it seems like Elliot will remain the focal point of the Cowboys’ run game, and Pollard might slide into the third wide receiver role until Michael Gallup returns from injury. Pollard will be utilized split wide to create mismatches, and he will likely see more time as a wide receiver this season, even when Gallup returns.
As the Cowboys traded wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, Tony Pollard, and tight end Dalton Schultz will see the bulk of targets. That will also lead to Elliot seeing more targets and more rush attempts. In 2021, Elliot had a down year, finishing with 237 carries for 1,002 yards, and 12 touchdowns in 17 games. Pollard finished the season with 719 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 130 attempts. Pollard also added 337 receiving yards, compared to Elliott’s 287 receiving yards.
Jerry Jones assures Cowboys fans that Elliot will continue to lead the team.
“We gotta have Tony Pollard out there. No, seriously, Zeke’s gotta be our feature, and he is our feature … We can feature him in a lot of different ways. We all recognize what he does in the passing game because of his protection ability. Don’t ever underestimate that especially with Zeke. Zeke takes some tolls when he’s out there as a back blocking. So it’s critical that we make Zeke — because he’s capable of being that — really the focus of what we’re doing. Now then, Pollard, there’s plenty of room for Pollard. There’s plenty of room for Pollard when Zeke’s in there. Pollard needs to get the ball. He has to be the focal point … There is room for Pollard while Zeke is in there.”
Interesting comments from #Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on @nflnetwork, saying that Zeke Elliott “has to be the focus” in the run game. “He has to be the focal point” based on his work in the run game and pass game. “There is room for (Tony) Pollard while Zeke is in there.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 30, 2022
On average, Elliot is being drafted 28th on the fantasy football Sleeper app. Elliot still has top-five running back potential, and anyone taking him that late will likely benefit tremendously from his production. He is currently listed as the 57th player on the draft board. For insurance, it is best to take Zeke and Pollard in case one of them gets injured. But both players are viable options this upcoming season; in order to ease quarterback Dak Prescott’s workload, the Cowboys coaching staff could opt to lean more toward Elliot and Pollard.
Elliot is heading into the second year of his six-year contract, as Pollard is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. The Cowboys will open up their season in Dallas against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 11.