The Dallas Cowboys are on a bye week so the news is slow-going for America’s Team. But, as usual, you can count on Jerry Jones for a couple of sound bites. He was on 105.3 and was asked about Tony Pollard’s role in the offense. There have been many observers of the Cowboys making the case that Pollard should be getting more snaps, even if that means Ezekiel Elliott is getting fewer.
It doesn’t sound like Jerry Jones is a big fan of that.
“Tony’s not a Johnny come lately to our appreciate for what he can bring to us. It always was exponential his potential here to help us, not though, let me emphasize, not though, at the diminished times we get the ball in the hands of Zeke or get Zeke involved in the offense in a way that he influences the offense so we can make big plays,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan when asked if Pollard should get more involved in the rushing attack. “All of this is all around what we’re trying to do with our key spot at quarterback. I would say no in answer to any role that Pollard is being considered that would diminish anything that we’re doing with Zeke.”
Basically, if you don’t take away touches from Zeke, then you can’t really give more to Pollard unless the team suddenly ups the run output dramatically. That is unlikely to happen so it doesn’t seem like, at least from Jerry’s vantage point, that we can expect to see a significant uptick in Pollard’s usage.
Which is a real shame. Pollard has easily been the most effective of the two backs and is the only one of the two likely to produce a big play by running the ball. There is an argument out there that Pollard’s effectiveness would go down if they used him more and that he is nothing more than a change of pace back. Why don’t we test that theory first before we believe in it? Just because Pollard has a different build and running style than Zeke, doesn't mean he can't be effective with more carries. To suggest that without actually testing it out seems a tad premature. We’ll just have to wait and see what the coaching staff does when the Cowboys return to the field.
On the other side of the ball, Jerry indicated the team would like to get Aldon Smith signed to another deal. That seemed obvious when they turned down reported trade offers for him at the trade deadline. Here’s what Jerry had to say when asked about that.
“Yes, and the idea here is that Aldon is getting better,” Jones said Friday. “He’s a bigger man than he was when he played earlier in his career. But that has a lot of positives to it, too. But every time he’s stepping out there, he’s gaining on it, and that’s interesting to be at this stage of his career. But he’s an absolute unique in every way pressure player. We want to maximize our relationship with him. We’ve all got a good one with him. Proud of him. Proud for him. Proud that he’s given himself this chance, and we’re going to help him do it. So, as I’ve said earlier, I’m a fan of his.”
Smith was on fire coming out of the start of the season, but has cooled somewhat since. As has been noted many times, sacks are not the “everything” for a defensive end, but let’s face it, sacks are what those players get paid for. Playing the run and getting pressure and the like are important, but the big payoff are sacks. They are momentum-changers, drive-killers, and turnover-makers.
Smith started the year with four sacks in the first three games. Since then, he has only added one more sack. Most of his numbers - TFLs, QB hits, etc. - are in decline. But, he has been active and he does look like he’s on the edge of becoming a disruptive player at the position. The Cowboys would be wise to get him under contract for a few more years at a reasonable rate.