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Cowboys week one rookie report: Limited action for Tony Pollard, Joe Jackson vs. Giants

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It wasn’t a very busy week for the rooks.

NFL: SEP 08 Giants at Cowboys Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There was no shortage of incredible play in week one for the Dallas Cowboys during the team’s 18-point victory over the New York Giants. Kellen Moore’s brilliant plan was on full display as Dak Prescott threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns and the excitement is as high as it has been in a long time.

As for the rookies, there were not a ton of snaps going around. Second-round pick Trysten Hill was a healthy scratch in the season opener and fellow rookies Donovan Wilson, Brandon Knight, Luke Gifford were inactive as well.

That only left two rookies in action for Sunday: fourth-round running back Tony Pollard and fifth-round defensive end Joe Jackson. The former is expected to have a nice role in Kellen Moore’s offense, while the latter used an impressive preseason to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

Most of the replies indicated that the fans believed Tony Pollard would have the bigger impact of the two rooks suiting up for week one. Which is to be expected after Pollard flashed during the preseason and Jackson playing at a deeper position.

How did each do versus the New York Giants?

Tony Pollard

At one time, it looked as if Tony Pollard was going to be RB1 for the Dallas Cowboys when the team suited up for the New York Giants, but that, of course, changed when Ezekiel Elliott ended his 41-day holdout and inked a contract extension. Still, though, there was some expectation that the rookie from Dallas could get some touches against New York.

Pollard did receive touches, but he struggled to find much success against the Giants’ front, rushing the ball 13 times for a total of 24 yards (1.8 ypc average). To be fair, though, the team as a whole only averaged three yards per carry and totaled 89 yards total on the ground on the day. And when Pollard got many of his carries in mop-up duty, the Giants knew that run was coming. Earlier, though. it was definitely a game in which Jason Garrett and Kellen Moore wanted to attack through the air. In that regard, Pollard did look good in blitz pickups and pass protection.

One thing that did surprise me was that Pollard did not receive any targets in the passing game. Pollard was used as a weapon out of the backfield and in the slot during his Memphis Tigers career, but Moore appears to be waiting to unleash that aspect of Pollard’s game for now.

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson was on the active roster for the season opener, while 2017 first-round pick Taco Charlton did not suit up in week one. Is that a sign of things to come? Perhaps so.

The defensive end that Jerry Jones shouted out during the preseason didn’t see a lot of action this past Sunday, but the Miami Hurricanes product was able to record a QB hit in the game. With more snaps and playing time in the future, we could see the 6-foot-4, 275-pound defender begin making a real impact.