There appear to be some growing expectations for the Cowboys rookie back Tony Pollard. Can he be the team’s secret weapon?
Dallas Cowboys: RB Tony Pollard
Will Ezekiel Elliott hold out for a new contract this season? Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported the two-time rushing champion is considering doing so, which would leave the Dallas Cowboys shorthanded.
Even if Elliott accepts his role as the bell-cow back, the Cowboys should consider spelling him to decrease his workload—Elliott has carried the ball 868 times in three seasons. This is where rookie fourth-round pick Tony Pollard comes in and why he could be valuable.
Pollard was a big play waiting to happen for the Memphis Tigers last season, averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 11.7 yards per reception. He also averaged 24.7 yards per kickoff return and scored 10 touchdowns.
Pollard is versatile and can help the Cowboys on special teams as well. Perhaps more importantly, he can help keep Elliott fresh late in the season when Dallas hopes to make a playoff run.
From one back to another, here is the latest on Zeke:
According to ProFootballTalk, which cited an unidentified league source, the Cowboys running back “is believed to be making plans for a trip out of the country” ahead of Dallas’ training camp.
However, Yahoo reports this on whether or not Elliott will hold out:
Yahoo Sports later reported Elliott hasn’t made a definitive decision regarding his holdout but is “absolutely thinking it through and definitely wants an extension in the works.”
Meanwhile, Zeke is finding himself on MVP lists ahead of the 2019 season.
As the Cowboys still have to make a decision about Ezekiel Elliott’s future, there’s no doubt that he’s their most impactful offensive player of the present.
It appears oddsmakers agree.
BetOnline.AG recently listed which NFL players have the best odds of winning the MVP award and the first Cowboy on the list was none other than Elliott, tying for the 18th-highest odds. Not far behind Elliott was Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Ezekiel Elliot 50/1
Jameis Winston 50/1
Kirk Cousins 50/1
Kyler Murray 50/1
Saquon Barkley 50/1
Todd Gurley 50/1
Aaron Donald 66/1
Dak Prescott 66/1
On the topic of the running game, Dak Prescott spoke about how a running game can open things up.
“It does everything. It allows the game to open up. When you can run the ball and you can run the ball successfully all it does is open up the passing game, it opens up the play-action game. It allows you to be dominant in the second half and in the fourth quarter when you need to be to able to run out the time. We’ve got a great group of guys and our running backs are not short of that.”
It doesn’t matter how much a running back opens things up if the quarterback doesn’t have any weapons. Is this the best group of receivers that Dak has had?
Comparing this starting group to the ones from prior years, it really seems like the best Dak Prescott has worked with. During his first couple of years in the league, Dak played with a Dez Bryant that (like it or not) wasn’t anywhere close to his peak. 2016-2017 Dez wasn’t on last year’s Amari Cooper’s level. Williams had his moments, but wasn’t consistent and was well-known as a body-catcher.
This year’s group has its question marks, that’s for sure. Randall Cobb hasn’t played a full season since 2015 due to injuries and Michael Gallup doesn’t have a ton of experience and is yet to breakout. Even still, it seems like Prescott will have a great group of pass-catchers to help him lead the Cowboys to another NFC East title. It’ll be an interesting fourth year for the young Cowboys quarterback. It’s definitely good to see he’ll have help.
What will Randall Cobb bring to the offense?
It’s also worth mentioning that word is Cobb has quickly developed an important chemistry with his new quarterback, Dak Prescott. Beasley was very important in Prescott’s rookie season, when he averaged 52.1 yards per game and accounted for five touchdowns.
While Beasley was an important receiver for Cowboys, he wasn’t really known as a team leader. Cowboys reporter Lindsay Cash Draper wrote about Cobb’s leadership skills will carry on to the team whether he’s doing it intentionally or not. It’s always good to have such presences out there on the training field to spark the team.
Randall Cobb won’t be this team’s #1 guy or anything like that, but he will surely contribute every week. When we look back to this offseason, I believe this signing will look like a great move by the Cowboys’ front office.
Staying on the topic of the passing game...
3. Can Dak and Cooper continue to grow together?
The passing attack in Dallas was simply ugly to start the past season. They tried to enter the year with a committee approach after releasing Dez Bryant and it was a nightmare. None of the players they used were bad, but with Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Deonte Thompson, Tavon Austin and rookie Michael Gallup as the focal points of the passing attack, they couldn’t find any consistency.
After admitting to themselves they made a mistake, the front office went out and traded a first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for Amari Cooper. The change was seen instantly.
Cooper helped the entire offense improve and was able to bring in 53 passes for 725 yards and six touchdowns. He silenced a lot of doubters who mocked the Boys for making the trade with Oakland and finished the season on the Pro Bowl roster.
Heading into 2019, Cooper has some lofty goals for himself. He said that he wants to be the first receiver to cross the 2,000-yard mark in a single season. Not to shoot someone down for having big dreams, but considering his best season saw him gain 1,153 yards, plus the fact that Dallas is a run-first team, that seems somewhat out of reach.
That doesn’t mean he can’t have another fantastic season as the No. 1 receiver — especially if he and Dak Prescott can continue to build their rapport. It was impressive how quickly the two were able to connect with one another and this season, one of the biggest storylines will be how much they have grown together. The 2019 training camp and ensuing preseason will help start to answer that question.
NFL.com isn’t high on the man calling the shots for America’s Team.
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.
Well, maybe that adage has gone out of style.
NFL.com just released its annual power rankings of head coaches in the league, and Cowboys HC Jason Garrett ranked No. 17.
For a head coach in Dallas, a number that low certainly isn’t kind.
But to be fair, analyst Elliot Harrison wasn’t too harsh about Garrett. He was just more realistic about Garrett’s playoff win total than Jerry Jones would have liked, probably.
”This spot will be too high for the Cowboys fans who don’t believe in Garrett.”