Ezekiel Elliott is still holding out. We are less than two weeks away from Cowboys vs. Giants and Zeke is still in Mexico . . . or maybe a local Whataburger. With all the Marshall Faulk drama, it would not surprise me if Elliott missed at least a couple of games.
So maybe it is time to take a closer look at Tony Pollard. Ever since Zeke did not show up to training camp, Pollard has been the most talked about player on the team, and by all accounts, he has been pretty good. We all know his name but it may be time to get to know him a little bit better.
Out of high school, Tony Pollard was a three-star recruit from Memphis, Tennessee, who only held two offers, Memphis and Austin Peay. He eventually committed to Memphis as an all-purpose back, but after redshirting his first year, Memphis put him at wide receiver. He switched back and forth from running back to wide receiver throughout his career, and eventually ended up with 18 offensive touchdowns. Pollard’s biggest strength was kick returning where he accumulated over 2600 yards and 7 touchdowns (those seven touchdowns tie the NCAA career record.) His electric play-making ability made him an easy selection for the Cowboys in the fourth round.
Pollard recorded 84 rush yards and a touchdown on 15 attempts in the preseason. His ability to line up, essentially anywhere gives the Cowboys many options on where to put him even if Ezekiel Elliott comes back. His run-style is different then what Cowboys fans have seen recently. Zeke is a crazy good running back because he can basically do it all. But Tony Pollard shows you a side of running that Zeke does not show us very often. His bouncy, patient, find-a-gap style of running was on full display specifically on one run against the Texans. He sat in the backfield for a couple of seconds before his line opened up and he shot the gap for a big gain. Don’t get me wrong, Elliott is a patient runner but most of the time it seems like he picks a whole and powers through.
More and more in today’s NFL, running backs like James Conner, Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, and Christian McCaffrey are becoming equal threats as receivers as they are as runners. Pollard played wide receiver in college. He fits the mold of running backs that we are seeing more often. Whether Elliott reports or not, the Cowboys will find something for Tony Pollard to do. He has too much talent and potential to just sit behind Zeke for the whole season.
Maybe it’s too early to judge him. Maybe we should all chill out about Tony Pollard.
Plenty of guys have made an impression in the offseason just to be an average career player. But there is something about this guy that is just exciting. He certainly has a lot of hype to live up to