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Cowboys RB Tony Pollard “game-time decision” for Washington with torn plantar fascia

With Ezekiel Elliott ailing, this is not ideal for Dallas.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

For the most part, the Dallas Cowboys are in remarkably good health with five games remaining on the season. But not everything is great. Running back Tony Pollard revealed on Thursday that he is dealing with a problem.

This is significant, because Ezekiel Elliott is also dealing with a knee problem. While Elliott insists he will be available for the game at the Washington Football Team on Sunday, he certainly has not been very productive the past few weeks. The Cowboys have seen a marked falloff in the running game. Having the top two backs ailing is hardly encouraging for fixing that issue.

The Cowboys just signed RB Ito Smith to the practice squad, and the news of Pollard’s injury sheds some light on that. Should Pollard not be able to go, Smith could be called up from the PS to fill in. Right now, Corey Clement is the third back on the 53-man roster, and it would be highly unwise to just roll into the game with only two available should Pollard not be able to play. Another option for Dallas would be to call up JaQuan Hardy, who was last seen on Hard Knocks.

No matter who would get the call, it would be a serious degradation at the position. Pollard was the most explosive back the team had so far this season, as evidenced by the run when he suffered the injury. He is also a good weapon as a receiver and has been the primary kick returner, where he also has made major contributions, including his kick return for a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders. His absence would present multiple problems for the staff to counter.

This is the kind of injury that would have to be played through, but that in turn raises the question of how effective he could be? We’ll find out on Sunday.