We are only one season into their careers, but the 2019 Dallas Cowboys draft class doesn’t exactly look like one that is going to be remembered as one of the best in franchise history. To be fair, the Cowboys didn’t have a first-round pick a year ago after trading it away for Amari Cooper, but still, it’s possible to get legitimate contributions from beyond the opening round. That was hardly the case for the Cowboys.
2019 Dallas Cowboys Draft Class (number of games played)
- 2nd Round: Trysten Hill (7)
- 3rd Round: Connor McGovern (0)
- 4th Round: Tony Pollard (15)
- 5th Round: Michael Jackson (1)
- 5th Round: Joe Jackson (5)
- 6th Round: Donovan Wilson (11)
- 7th Round: Mike Weber (0)
- 7th Round: Jalen Jelks (0)
It’s not necessarily a great thing when the most contribution from your rookie class comes from a fourth-rounder (although this was definitely fine in 2016). It’s even more not good when the player in question is a running back, especially when it’s all happening shortly after the team in question paid a different running back $90M.
While it would have been great to see the whole class prosper, the silver lining from it for now is the presence of Tony Pollard on the team. He graded out as the second-best rookie running back in 2019 according to PFF.
Highest graded rookie RBs— PFF (@PFF) February 6, 2020
1. Josh Jacobs - 87.2
2. Tony Pollard - 82.9
3. Alexander Mattison - 69.9 pic.twitter.com/ny7i1FuC0P
Pollard offers the Cowboys something very different than the running back that he sits behind on the depth chart. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard each bring with them a very unique and appealing skillset, the Cowboys simply failed to utilize them both to their fullest degrees this past season.
While we all thought and anticipated that Tony Pollard would be a very versatile style of play to the Cowboys, we were right! PFF had him graded as one of the most elusive running backs in the game.
Jokes aside, Tony Pollard ranked No. 1 this past season in yards after contact per attempt (4.51) and elusive rating (116.1) among rushers with at least 20% of team's attempts (h/t @PFF).— Brad Evans (@NoisyHuevos) January 6, 2020
DAL plans to hire more analytics voices to pair with McCarthy. Pollard's role could grow.
Mike McCarthy has never had a running back like Ezekiel Elliott but he sort of had someone similar to Tony Pollard in Ty Montgomery during his final years in Green Bay. Pollard is definitely someone that can do a lot of things and if McCarthy truly experienced an analytics awakening then he might be down to utilize Tony in some fun capacities.