clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys over/under: 1,200 rushing yards for Tony Pollard in 2023

Tony Pollard has taken over for Ezekiel Elliott as the Cowboys main running back, but just how productive he will be in a full-time role is the question.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a new day in Dallas when it comes to the running back position. For the first time since 2016 it will be someone other than Ezekiel Elliott as the top dog in the backfield. It is now Tony Pollard’s show, and even though there is still a slight chance that he signs a long-term deal before the deadline, the odds favor Pollard playing the 2023 season on the franchise tag and having this be his biggest audition to date.

Only five players in the NFL last season rushed for more than 1,200 yards on the ground. That may seem lofty for a first-time starter to eclipse, but let’s set the mark there and discuss if Pollard will be on the plus or minus side of that number this season, and the factors that will play a part in it.

While many are excited about what Pollard may be able to do with this opportunity, there is certainly a level of unknown regarding how this will all work out for the running back out of Memphis. Pollard is coming off a broken ankle, and although all signs point to him being healthy and ready to go when camp commences at the end of the month, what, if any, effect will that injury have on him in 2023 and beyond is still an unanswered question. The hope is that he’s had time to heal, strengthen, and put the injury behind him, but until he is on the field it is impossible to know what impact it may play on the season. Pollard has also never had an opportunity of this magnitude presented to him before as he has either been in a committee approach or the number two option dating back to his time in Memphis, and one can wonder if the increased workload may burn him out as the season progresses.

However, the excitement is warranted when it comes to the what-if Pollard brings. Pollard, when given the chance, has been everything and more for this Cowboys offense and is in the running for the most dynamic player that the offense has to offer with CeeDee Lamb really being the only competitor. Added opportunities could be a recipe for more success for Pollard and this offense, and sadly it may have taken five years for the Cowboys to get the full ‘Pollard experience’. It is realistic to expect that Pollard would see his touches increase to the 17-20 a game range. If so, Pollard would only need to average 4.11 yards a carry over 17 games to reach the 1,200 mark with the benchmark being 17 carries and 70 yards a game on average to achieve it. These are highly doable numbers for theexplosive Cowboys weapon.

Last year Pollard had the best statistical output of his career. The increased work load saw his carries bump to 193 for 1,007 rushing yards and nine touchdowns from his previous highs in 2021 that saw him only have 130 carries, 719 rushing yards, and two touchdowns. In 2023, the Cowboys are banking on more of that progression for Tony Pollard as they hope giving him the keys to the group will unlock his full potential, and in return bring this offensive unit to new heights.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys