While things went well enough for the Cowboys to win last Sunday, some things will need to change if they want to have continued success against the Giants on Monday night. If Dallas wants to walk out of New York with a win, here are three players they need to use more this week.
WR CeeDee Lamb
While the Cowboys did get CeeDee Lamb much more involved against Cincinnati than he was versus Tampa Bay, he still didn’t touch the ball nearly enough. Lamb caught seven passes, on 11 targets, for 75 yards and ran the ball one time for six yards.
While this production level isn’t a bad day by any means, 11 targets and eight touches still are not enough for one of the most dynamic offensive players in football.
Remember last season when we saw Kellen Moore line Lamb up in the backfield? The wideout ended up finishing the season with nine rushes for a total of 76 yards, averaging 8.44 Y/A.
Dark web video edit of CeeDee Lamb playing running back pic.twitter.com/v7h5ENOo6a— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) April 24, 2022
Now with Lamb’s slender build, it isn’t a real possibility to have him taking handoffs six or seven times a game. This would put him at a much higher risk for injury and potentially put the Cowboys in a terrible spot if he was to get hurt. While having him in a true Deebo Samuel role is not likely possible, he is more than capable of running the ball two to three times a game and catching the defense off guard.
Whether it’s by lining him up in the backfield and handing him the ball, or throwing some quick screens to the outside, the Cowboys need to get the ball in CeeDee Lamb’s hands at least 12-14 times a game.
RB Tony Pollard
Two games into the 2022 season the Cowboys already aren’t using Tony Pollard enough. While the 25-year-old did touch the ball 13 times against the Bengals (nine rushes and four receptions), he should have been given many more opportunities.
You won’t find a bigger Ezekiel Elliott fan than me, but it was clear to anyone watching on Sunday that Elliott lacked burst. Now, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be games where Elliott should get a majority of the rushing attempts, it just means Sunday’s matchup was better suited for Pollard to be the bell cow back.
Pollard really shined against the Bengals, recording 98 total yards from scrimmage and averaging over eight yards per touch. Pollard started off the game red hot, averaging nearly 4.5 Y/A in the first half and breaking a 46-yard reception that set Dallas up to score and take a 14-3 lead.
After such a good start, the Cowboys neglected to use Pollard until the very end of the fourth quarter. In the second half, Pollard touched the ball just four times, an inexcusable number after having such a productive first and second quarter.
This week against the Giants, if Pollard has the hot hand the Cowboys need to stick with him and continue to get the ball in his hands.
DE Dorance Armstrong Jr.
Dorance Armstrong may have very well had the best game of his career last Sunday against the Bengals. The 25-year-old had the first multi-sack day of his career, taking down Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow twice.
Dorance Armstrong used his length, strength, and relentless pursuit to cause problems for the Bengals' offensive line on Sunday. A very nice two-sack performance by the Cowboys' 25-year-old edge rusher. pic.twitter.com/yZMqSAs2iy— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) September 19, 2022
Over his last 11 games, Armstrong has been extremely productive, recording 12 QB hits, seven sacks, and five TFL.
Cowboys DE Dorance Armstrong made his presence felt in Sunday’s win over Falcons. He played 38 defensive snaps amid absence of DE Randy Gregory (calf, IR). Armstrong’s lone snap on punt return team was a memorable one. pic.twitter.com/CiF1V4ozB1— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 15, 2021
Armstrong was on the field for 30 snaps on Sunday (47% of the defensive snaps), and that number should increase this week against the Giants. Whether it’s playing him on the edge or inside, Armstrong has proven to be a legit pass-rush threat and the Cowboys need to get him on the field as much as possible.