The Dallas Cowboys have a problem, a Tony Pollard problem. Not only has he been shamefully underutilized and underappreciated, but he’s also entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2022 with no indication of getting him more involved offensively to tap into his immense potential. It’s time for that to change before it’s too late.
Tony Pollard is one of the more versatile and explosive players in the entire league, let alone on the Cowboys roster. There’s been an outcry for a few years now to significantly increase his workload, only to fall on deaf ears. With one year remaining on his contract, and with an extension unlikely, it’s now or never for Dallas to utilize him to the best of his abilities.
Think Deebo Samuel.
Samuel was arguably the most versatile and dangerous offensive weapon in the entire league last season. He amassed a total of 1,770 yards from scrimmage (1,405 receiving, 365 rushing) and 14 total touchdowns in 2021 playing as both a wide receiver and running back.
The NFL being a copycat league like it is, teams are now trying to find their own Deebo Samuel. The Dallas Cowboys are no exception to rule, and fortunately for them, they already have that player in Tony Pollard. Based on his size, speed, and versatile skill set as a runner and receiver, No. 20 is close to a mirror-image of the 49ers No. 19.
Call me crazy or disillusioned if you like, but, if you get down to the nitty-gritty comparing Deebo Samuel to Tony Pollard probably isn’t as far-fetched as you may think. Both players are a smidge under 6 foot tall with similar 4.5 40-yard dash, making the only real difference between the two their weight, Pollard’s 210 pounds to Samuel’s 215.
In Pollard, the Cowboys have a player who can do a lot of the same things Samuel has done with the San Francisco 49ers. Pollard can easily be the same kind of versatile, dynamic weapon as both a runner and receiver in Dallas’ offense if utilized as such. We’ve seen a small glimpse of this already, but never really on a consistent basis.
If offensive coordinator Kellen Moore finally decides to turn Pollard into a Deebo Samuel-like weapon, there’s no time like the present. Not only could this be Pollard’s last year with the Cowboys like we’ve already mentioned, but they are also currently transitioning to life without Amari Cooper in the passing game after trading him away.
With CeeDee Lamb moving into the No. 1 WR role, and the unknown behind him at the position, No. 20 could help pick up the lost production from losing Amari Cooper if utilized more as a receiver. Combine that with even a slight bump in touches as a running back, and the Cowboys suddenly have their very own version of Samuel.
Now all we have to do is sit back and wait to see what happens. The Cowboys have a real opportunity in front of them to be the next team with a versatile, dynamic playmaker at both the running back and wide receiver position, but it’s up to them as to whether or not they choose to tap into Tony Pollard’s underutilize potential before it’s too late.