We have reached gameday for the Dallas Cowboys and all that stands between us and kickoff is an entire slate of Sunday NFL action. Congratulations on making it here, my friends.
The lead up to tonight’s game against the New York Giants has been long and intense given that this is Week 1, but now that we have reached Sunday all cards are on the table. At long last we will get a tried an true look at how Dallas is going to look this season and how Mike McCarthy’s offense is going to operate on a drive-by-drive basis.
Sunday morning’s news dumps from national insiders provided one last bit of bread crumbs on the offense, specifically on the projected workload for the running backs.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, who has historically gotten very exclusive interviews with Mike McCarthy, noted that Tony Pollard is expected to get 18-20 touches against the Giants while third downs will see some Rico Dowdle. Pelissero also added that there are special packages in play for rookie Deuce Vaughn.
You may recall that last season there was a longstanding debate about Pollard’s usage and how much he could withstand. For what it is worth, he had 18-20 (or more) touches five total times in 2022:
- at Green Bay: 22 carries, 6 targets
- at Minnesota: 15 carries, 6 targets
- New York: 18 carries, 2 targets
- at Jacksonville: 19 carries, 5 targets
- at Tampa Bay: 15 carries, 3 targets
One big difference between all of those games and now is that Sunday night will mark Pollard’s return from injury as he suffered a broken fibula in the Divisional Round loss in San Francisco. He obviously was not dealing with that for any of those games/workloads.
It makes sense for the Cowboys to approach things slowly given that it is Week 1, we may see that disposition with regards to Tyler Smith, but this is also a divisional matchup which is a significant thing.