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While some fans are clamoring for Tony Pollard to lead the backfield, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones still firmly believes in Ezekiel Elliott.
The Dallas Cowboys enter another training camp preparing to advance past the second round of the playoffs. They appeared to be in good shape behind the strong play of the defense under coordinator Dan Quinn, but were shockingly eliminated by the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round. As for the offense, it will look a little different in the passing game. But when it comes to the run game, it will be highlighted by Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
For those Cowboys fans who want Pollard to get the starter’s reps in the run game, just know that team owner Jerry Jones doesn’t agree. Rather, he feels Elliott should be the focus of the rushing attack.
Jerry Jones wants Ezekiel Elliott to be the focus of the run game
“We’ve got to have Tony Pollard out there. No, seriously, Zeke’s got to be our feature and he’s our feature,” Jones said, h/t NFL.com. “We can highlight him in a lot of different ways. We all recognize what he does in the passing game because of his ability to protect. Never underestimate that, especially with Zeke. Zeke takes some tolls when he’s out there as a back blocker. So it’s crucial that we make Zeke – because he’s capable of being – the real focus of what we’re doing. So, Pollard, there is plenty of room for Pollard. There is plenty of room for Pollard when Zeke is in there. Pollard must have the ball.”
Elliott played in every game this past season, but he wasn’t as productive as he was early in his career. But he suffered a partial tear of his PCL early in the campaign and played through it. Still, his numbers were eye-opening, and not in a good way.
Throughout the season, Elliott averaged 4.2 yards per carry. carry and a career-low 58.9 rushing yards per match. The latter number is telling, considering he led in rushing yards per game through the first three seasons of his career.
Meanwhile, Pollard thrived when called up to the Cowboys. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry. carry in 15 games in 2021, totaling 719 rushing yards on 130 attempts.
There’s always a chance Elliott can turn things around as a starter. But the talk of the football world will be loud if Pollard surpasses him while coming off the bench. Not to mention the NFC East has become more competitive, especially with the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders.