Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard? The cowboys are clear on the plan to go back

Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard? The cowboys are clear on the plan to go back

ARLINGTON, Texas – In Dallas Cowboy‘post match changing room, Ezekiel Elliott he cradled an imaginary trophy in mid-air.

The message from the seventh year professional: he doesn’t care who carries the ball every Sunday. He wants to bring something bigger and better.

“All I care about is winning, and at the end of the season. I want to hold that Lombardi in my hand, “Elliott told Yahoo Sports as he lifted his imaginary trophy.” We all have the same goal and it’s for this team to be successful.

“It doesn’t matter to him or me if it’s me or him doing it.”

Tony Pollardin Elliott’s reference, it was him.

Why how Elliott rested a hyperextended knee before the Cowboys farewellPollard gave a broad subsection of Cowboys fans – heck, even NFL fans and no doubt fantasy owners – what they wanted: to see how he could handle a prime opportunity.

In a 49-29 win over Chicago BearsEmbarrassed Pollard (in Bears linebacker Roquan Smith‘s words) the 29th run defense of the championship. He averaged 9.4 yards one pop en route to 131 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Pollard added another 16 yards on reception, his 147 yards and three touchdowns each career record.

Pollard’s slogan four days before kick-off rang through the quarterback Dak Prescottthe ears. “They call him”, Pollard joked, “Imma haul”.

“He went out there, backed up those words, and that’s what he honestly is,” Prescott said. “He says that line isn’t about, ‘Hey, give me 30 carries so I can show you.’ It’s: “Hey, whatever the manager asks me to do, I’ll do it to the best of my ability for this team.”

“He has a talent to die for and he’s not just another defender for us. He is a director and a weapon that we will continue to use “.

How the “X” factor fueled Pollard’s career day

The Cowboys didn’t use Pollard instead of their passing game against the Bears. But they gave him opportunities that he capitalized powerfully on. It was that descriptor – “powerful” – that Pollard’s teammates wanted fans to hear. At 6 feet, 212 pounds, Pollard isn’t as physically imposing as Elliott. Yet, teammates say, he’s more than just the elusive weapon he’s often perceived as.

“I feel like it’s something he doesn’t have enough credit for – how strong he is,” left tackle Tyler Smith, who blocked for Pollard’s 54-yard score, told Yahoo Sports. “His pace does not stop. His footsteps are powerful. This is one of the factors of him “X”, it seems to me.

Pollard scored first with 10:50 am to play in the second quarter, cutting left and then zigzagging to the center of the Bears’ defense right after Prescott had scored 25 yards on a quarterback goalkeeper.

Pollard blasted seven yards in the middle for his third quarter touchdown, with a disturbing balance as he essentially leaped the last few yards to the end zone undaunted by the Bears’ defensive end. Al-Quadin Muhammadsqueezes his ankle. Try to trip Pollard at your own risk, teammates said.

“When it hits that hole, it’s going 1,000mph,” tight end Dalton Schultz he told Yahoo Sports. “Is it like guys who are athletic sneaky? It is devious powerful. Zeke has the power to overwhelm you. [Pollard]It’s as if, if you try to tackle TP with your arm, your arm will feel like it’s been ripped off. It’s like trying to grab a moving car. It doesn’t really work ”.

The Bears backups had no further luck. When Pollard had run 54 yards for his final score and the match, four Bears defenders were horizontal in his wake.

“The last one was difficult because I was out of breath,” he later said. “But I got in there.”

How will Cowboys Zeke, Pollard handle moving forward?

The Cowboys enter 6-2, seconds in the NFC East, before a November 13 visit to Green Bay, where Cowboys manager Mike McCarthy spent 13 years as Packers head coach.

At that point, Elliott should be healthy enough to play. The goodbye week heavily impacted Dallas’s decision to rest, the risk-reward calculation favored three weeks of rest for his hyperextension for a single lost game. At first glance, the Cowboys must make a decision when he returns.

Or them?

Tony Pollard (20) finished with 147 total yards in Ezekiel Elliott's absence while the Cowboys nearly lost 50 points over the Bears.  (Photo by Cooper Neill / Getty Images)

Tony Pollard (20) finished with 147 total yards in Ezekiel Elliott’s absence while the Cowboys nearly lost 50 points over the Bears. (Photo by Cooper Neill / Getty Images)

Despite Pollard’s dominance on Sunday, and with Green Bay’s 27th-ranked defense pending in two weeks, Pollard finished the game with 14 carries and a somewhat surprising reception. Cowboys teammates threw 15 additional carries for the 200-yard run game. Elliott’s contributions don’t have to change drastically for Pollard to receive this level of opportunity in the future.

“We didn’t push it to the limit of the juice left,” said Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones of Pollard. “He He probably had, I suppose, a double handful of doors with a lot of zips.”

Jones also, in his usual style loyal to Elliott, emphasized his belief that the Cowboys “go like Zeke”. Jones described Elliott as “important to this team and just as important as he was before the game”. And when asked by Yahoo Sports if he understood the argument for giving Pollard the main load, Jones disagreed.

“No, there is no discussion,” Jones said. “Zeke’s ability to punish, Zeke’s ability to deliver it, Zeke’s ability to do what he does for us in protecting passes and frankly Zeke’s ability to make great plays are there. We will go as Zeke does. I really want to say that he is an integral part of our success this year. “

Elliott, who ran for 443 yards and four touchdowns (4.1 per attempt) this year, welcomes him. The more the Cowboys ‘offense can ramp up to complement Dallas’ deepest defense in recent history, the more likely he and 2016 draft classmate Prescott are to finally get over the playoff hump Dallas has faced since his last championship appearance. NFC after the 1995 season. Pollard’s leap to 506 yards and five scores in eight games only reinforces the Cowboys’ belief that their duo is dynamic.

“Tony is a very disciplined runner and has the speed of home runs,” McCarthy said. “His his ability to run into tackles, but then when he gets to the perimeter it’s dangerous because he breaks tackles and can finish the race.

“We look at Tony as one and Zeke as one. We are very lucky to have this duo of backrests ”.

Follow Yahoo Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein

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