The Dallas Cowboys finished ninth last season in rushing yards per game, so the run game is hardly an issue, right? Well, what if I told you, it could get even better?
With the recent departure of star wide receiver Amari Cooper, the Dallas Cowboys are now missing a big-time playmaker for their offense. There may be a solution to making not just the run game, but the passing game out of the backfield even better than last season. Second-string running back Tony Pollard has clearly shown why he should be the first-string running back next season.
Current starting running back Ezekiel Elliott is doing a fine job as a bell cow, but that leaves much to be desired when it comes to explosive plays in the run game. Pollard is ready to become a bigger part of this offense.
Here are 3 reasons why Cowboys RB Tony Pollard deserves to start over Ezekiel Elliott
Pollard is well known for his ability to breakout for large gains at almost any point. The numbers show that is no lie. Last season, Pollard averaged a whopping 5.5 yards per carry compared to Elliott’s 4.2. This is largely supported by the fact that Pollard averaged a 10+ yard run every 7.6 carries, while Elliott averaged one every 9.8 carries.
Pollard is also a force to be reckoned with in the passing game. Tony averaged 8.6 yards per catch while Elliott averaged 6.1. Pollard also outpaced Elliott in reception percentage by almost 14%. This shows not just the ability to gain a first down almost every play, but also reliability as Pollard is one of the most sure-handed and fastest running backs in the league.
When it comes to rushes over 15 yards, Pollard had nine such rushes, while Elliott had six. Pollard managed to do this in over 100 fewer carries. 31% of Pollard’s yards came from explosive runs over 15 yards, while Elliott’s explosive runs accounted for just 14.7%.
One thing Elliott lacks is explosiveness and speed. It’s quite clear on film he doesn’t have that burst that he used to. This isn’t a knock on Elliott because he has still shown he is a capable running back, but explosive plays are key in today’s game.