5 areas the Cowboys need to improve in after the bye week

Cowboys, Johnathan Hankins. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Cowboys, Johnathan Hankins. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Receiving out of the backfield

One area the Cowboys should excel in is throwing the ball to their running backs out of the backfield. Especially early this season as Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz, and James Washington have battled injuries, they should have been able to lean on Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard who are both excellent receivers.

Pollard is especially dangerous in this area as he played wideout collegiately while at Memphis. Dallas even explored using him lined up out wide during camp.

However, they don’t need to move his position to get him rolling in the passing game. They just need to utilize him — and Elliott — in the flat, on play-action, as well as in the screen game.

So far this season, Pollard has just 12 receptions for 121 yards and Zeke is sitting at a mere six catches for 32 yards in his seven games. Neither has scored a touchdown either, which feels wrong considering how good they can be in the open field.

For their careers, Pollard has 94 catches for 758 yards with two touchdowns, and Elliott has hauled in 294 passes for 2,276 yards and 12 touchdowns. His lowest output as a pass-catcher was in 2017 when he played 10 games and had 26 receptions. In 2022, he’s on pace for 13 while Pollard would have 26. That alone would match what Pollard had in 2021 — and Zeke had 47 on top of that.