The Dallas Cowboys season has been a disaster as we hit the bye week, marred by injuries and poor play on the field. This team has seen it all. Now the Cowboys have a chance to reflect on what they have done to this point in the season as well as get healthy. With that said, let’s take a look at a few things that could change for the Cowboys once they return from the by week.
Here are a few predictions that we could see in the near future.
More touches for Tony Pollard
So far this season Tony Pollard has been used sparingly by the Cowboys with an average of 5.2 carries a game. The Cowboys just recently paid running back Ezekiel Elliott and they are looking for a return on their investment. Unfortunately, Elliott hasn’t been very effective this season and is averaging 3.8 yards per attempt. Pollard, on the other hand, is averaging 4.4 yards per carry according to Pro Football Reference.
Pollard has the advantage over Elliott in terms on speed when hitting the fast closing holes the Cowboys struggling offensive line is opening. While Elliott will still receive the majority of the carries for the Cowboys, Pollard should see anywhere from five to ten more carries a game; this will give Elliott time to recover from the hamstring injury, and give the Cowboys more speed on the field to take advantage of 11 personnel with the Cowboys talented receiving corps.
Cowboys will sign Marquette King
The Cowboys are in the market for a new punter now that Chris Jones is out for a while due to a core injury that required surgery. The Cowboys had King in for a tryout recently and could sign him to the practice squad to compete against the current active roster punter Hunter Niswander, who played in last weeks game against the Steelers and averaged 39.5 yards per punt. King is known for his antics on the field but is also know around the league as a very good punter who during his time with the Raiders and Broncos, averaging 46.7 yards per punt.
King would fit right in with special teams coordinator John Fassel who likes to be creative and have fun on special teams with trick plays. Kings big leg will also give the Cowboys the ability to flip the field when the offense can’t get the ball across midfield.
Garrett Gilbert will end the season as the starting quarterback
The debate as to who should lead the Cowboys offense when Andy Dalton returns is now a big question for Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. Does he go with Dalton who has the experience and has led teams to the playoffs, or does he go with Gilbert who played well enough to almost beat the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers? A tough decision made easier after Stephen Jones said that Dalton would be the starter once he returns.
Now that doesn’t mean he will be the starter at the end of the season. If the Cowboys offense loses the spark given when Gilbert took the field, then McCarthy could pull Dalton and see what Gilbert can do. It would also give the Cowboys a chance to see if they finally have a quarterback who can backup Dak Prescott next season in Gilbert, because it’s no guarantee that the Dalton will return to the Cowboys next season as well.