With Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott sidelined for Week 8 with a knee injury, Tony Pollard embraced the RB1 role and turned in a superb performance.
On Sunday, Pollard powered the Dallas rushing game with 131 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on just 14 carries. The result? a 49-29 blowout victory for the Cowboys, who picked up a sixth win in their last seven outings.
Elliott’s production has declined considerably since 2020, and Pollard has often looked more explosive with the football in his hands. Many have called for Dallas to make Pollard the RB1, but owner Jerry Jones isn’t keen on that idea at this time.
But what does Elliott think about the idea of potentially losing his starting job to Pollard? The two-time rushing champion had the perfect post-game response, via Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports:
“All I’m worried about is winning, and at the end of the season. I want to be holding up that Lombardi. We’ve all got the same goal and that’s for this team to be successful.
“It doesn’t matter to me or him if it’s me or him doing it.”
In 2019, Dallas handed Elliott a six-year contract extension worth $90 million. Though Elliott put together another Pro Bowl-caliber season in 2019, his production dropped off noticeably in 2020 and 2021.
If it weren’t for the additional 17th game on the schedule, Elliott would have missed the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive year in 2021. He barely reached the mark, finishing with 1,002 and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Through seven games, the 27-year-old has 443 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns and six receptions for 32 receiving yards. The 25-year-old Pollard has 506 rushing yards, five touchdowns and 12 receptions for 121 receiving yards.
At any rate, it doesn’t seem to matter who’s getting the majority of carries for Dallas. The team has found ways to win thanks to its lights-out defense that’s allowing only 16.6 points per game, the third-best mark in the league.
With Dak Prescott healthy and back in form, the 6-2 Cowboys are in good position heading into their bye week. Their next game will be against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 10.