Fresh off their fourth-straight win in Week 5, the Dallas Cowboys roll into one of their biggest matchups on the season this Sunday, traveling to Philadelphia to take on the 5-0 Eagles. While things went well enough for the Cowboys to win on Sunday against the Rams, their offense didn’t exactly light the world on fire. If Dallas wants to win this tough divisional matchup on the road, they are going to need more production from their offense, particularly in the passing game, than they had on Sunday.
For that to happen, here are two offensive players the Cowboys must use more on Sunday in Philly.
RB Tony Pollard
Last Sunday Tony Pollard once again showed why the Cowboys must find a way to get him the football around 15 times a game. Pollard broke a 57-yard touchdown run, giving the Cowboys back the lead and ultimately being the score that won them the game.
Pollard has shown his big-play ability time and time again this season. In fact, the running back is responsible for all three of Dallas’ longest offensive plays of the year.
Longest plays so far this Cowboys season: a 45-yard catch, 46-yard run and a 57-yard run. All by Tony Pollard.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 9, 2022
Even if you take out the big 57-yard run, Pollard still carried the ball seven times for 29 yards, an average of over 4.0 Y/C.
This week against a very talented and physical Philadelphia defense front, the Cowboys need to use Pollard even more than they did against the Rams. The Cowboys aren’t going to be able to have success against this front just smashing Ezekiel Elliott up the middle. They’ll need to run to the outside and find creative ways to get outside the tackles and make plays. This is what Tony Pollard excels at, and he should be the lead back getting the primary share of carries against the Eagles on Sunday.
TE Dalton Schultz
It’s been a quiet start to the season for Dalton Schultz. After catching seven passes for 62 yards in the season opener, Schultz has been virtually a non-factor in the passing game since.
Schultz’s PCL Sprain suffered in Week 2 has been a big reason for his lack of production. After catching two passes for 18 yards against the Bengals, the tight end has gone without a single reception in his last two games. Last week against the Rams, Schultz played just 10 snaps, three of which came in the second half.
Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz played 10 snaps in Sunday's win. He exited early in second quarter upon colliding knees with Rams LB Ernest Jones — same right knee for Schultz as Week 2 PCL sprain. Three snaps for Schultz rest of game, all as run blocker in 13 personnel in second half. pic.twitter.com/kWFerhfqIE— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 10, 2022
While it’s fair to question if the Cowboys should have let Schultz sit out multiple games and get him fully healthy before having him return to the field, they can’t afford to let him miss this big-time division matchup on Sunday.
This week, It won’t be enough to just have Schultz on the field. Against a very talented Eagles’ defense, they need to get him more targets and fully involve him in the offense.
Philadelphia has one of the better pass-rushes in the NFL. The Eagles’ 17 sacks are tied for the fourth-most in football five games in. To offset this, Cooper Rush and the Cowboys will need to find ways to quickly get rid of the football and generate positive yards. This is something Dalton Schultz has made a career out of doing, and he really could come up big if he’s able to positively contribute on offense in this game.
At this point, Schultz may not be healthy enough to beat the defense down the field, but he still needs to be involved in the offense. We’ve seen Dak Prescott hit Schultz for a 7-8 yard gain numerous times in the past two seasons. The Cowboys need Rush and Schultz to get on the same page this Sunday and get that connection going to generate some quick, easy passing plays for this offense.