A lot has happened with the Dallas Cowboys since we last saw them play, an amazing statement given that it has only been five days.
The Cowboys were tremendous against the New York Jets last week and they were so dominant that some things flew a bit under the radar amid all of the hysteria.
One of these things, although you are likely aware by now, is that running back Tony Pollard received more carries in a game than he ever had throughout his career. Pollard took 25 total handoffs and even caught seven passes as well (off of eight targets).
When Week 3 began Pollard had the third-most carries of any running back across the NFL, and even though people have been worried about his usage, it is something that he appears to be more than fine with.
How do we know this, you ask? We asked him ourselves! Thanks to our friends at Chili’s, Pollard stopped by the Blogging The Boys podcast network this week to discuss last week’s game and how he is feeling relative to the season as a whole. You can listen to our conversation right below, but please note that we spoke the day before the Trevon Diggs injury.
Information about Tony Pollard’s partnership with Chili’s:
Every Monday during football season is BOGO Boneless Wings at Chilis, and to celebrate the fan-favorite grill & bar is teaming up with Dallas running back Tony Pollard.
Forget game-worn jerseys — starting September 25, fans can get their hands on a wing-worn jersey from Tony, covered in buffalo sauce stains from his own authentic wing-eating experience.
While enjoying wings at Chili’s, Pollard ‘sauced’ three jerseys with authentic Buffalo, Honey Chipotle and Nashville Hot sauce stains, and fans can enter to win their own one-of-a-kind autographed Tony Pollard Wing Worn Jersey and free wings every week during football season.
To enter, share a picture on Twitter enjoying BOGO Wings at your local Chili’s using #ChilisWingWornJersey and tagging @chilis.
As you can see Pollard was promoting his boneless wings partnership with Chili’s, best of luck to those of you who choose to participate in the contest in an effort to win the jersey he discussed.
But back to his usage. If it does not seem like 39 carries (avoiding receptions for the purposes of this conversation here) is a lot then I would challenge you to think again. Consider the amount of carries that Ezekiel Elliott received over the course of the first two games of the season in each year that he was a part of the team. Also for perspective we have put the amount of receptions that Zeke had each year in parentheses.
- 2016: 41 (3)
- 2017: 33 (9)
- 2018: 32 (8)
- 2019: 36 (3)
- 2020: 44 (9)
- 2021: 27 (4)
- 2022: 25 (2)
Only twice throughout Zeke’s career, one where he was widely regarded and recognized as a true bellcow running back for the Cowboys, did he have more carries through the first two games of a season than Pollard does now. Factoring in his receptions, there are nine of them, Pollard has 48 total touches through two games which means in that sense only once did Elliott out-work him (2020).
The purpose of this exercise isn’t to say that this is not sustainable for Pollard but more to contextualize that even though it has “only” been two games, Pollard is seeing a tremendous amount of work. It may behoove the Cowboys to involve Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn and/or KaVontae Turpin more which to be fair they are already doing as they have 13, 9 and 5 carries themselves, respectively, so far this year.
We will see how McCarthy looks to involve his runners this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.