The Dallas Cowboys have myriad big decisions to make this offseason. When it comes to Tony Pollard, leadership has to decide whether to re-sign him at an affordable price or let him walk and reset the running back position entirely.
In a vacuum, Pollard's debut season as the workhorse back was a disappointment. It took him until Week 17 to eclipse the 1,000-yard benchmark. For context, Pollard rushed for more yards (1,007) and touchdowns (nine) last year on 59 fewer carries.
In defense of Pollard, though, he clearly wasn't himself for the first half of the season. He didn't have the same explosiveness or elusiveness we had grown accustomed to over his first three seasons. It wasn't until the final eight games that 2022 Pollard returned, which hints it took him longer than expected to recover from his high-ankle sprain and fractured fibula suffered last January.
Despite the underwhelming season, Pollard is still adored by Cowboys fans. That might change after the 26-year-old spoke with FanSided ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl, however. When asked to provide his Mount Rushmore of running backs, Pollard left the great Emmitt Smith off his list.
Fast forward to the 23:50 mark in the video for Pollard's Mount Rushmore.
Tony Pollard snubbed Cowboys great Emmitt Smith from his Mount Rushmore of RBs
Pollard rattled off his first three without a hitch: Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and Marshall Faulk, which is admittedly a formidable trio. He gave his fourth some deep thought, however, and ultimately landed on Bo Jackson, whom he believes might've been the best to ever do it if he stayed healthy.
That is obviously a strong Mount Rushmore, but the multi-sport Bo Jackson only played four seasons. He's one of the greatest athletes of all-time, but he never rushed for 1,000 yards in a season. Jackson's highlight reels are up there with the best RBs ever, but he's not even a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
Emmitt Smith is the NFL's all-time leading rusher. We don't need to sell you on Smith's greatness, but let's run through a quick summary, shall we? He was a Super Bowl MVP, a four-time rushing champ and thrice led the league in rushing touchdowns. He was named MVP in 1993 and finished his career with three top-three MVP finishes.
You can debate where Smith ranks all-time, but any list that doesn't have him in the top five immediately loses validity. In Pollard's defense, he had to think on the fly and his Mount Rushmore consists of all-time greats.
But snubbing Smith? That just can't happen.
Tony Pollard participated in this Super Bowl Media Week interview on behalf of Sleep Number.