NFL News and Rumors

Cowboys Deny Potential Running Back Controversy

Tyler Maher
The Dallas Cowboys have denied a possible running back controversy between Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
The Dallas Cowboys have denied a possible running back controversy between Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. / ASSOCIATED PRESS
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With Ezekiel Elliott sidelined by a knee injury in Week 8, Tony Pollard finally got the chance to lead the Dallas Cowboys backfield. Pollard made the most of his opportunity, gashing the Chicago Bears for 131 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 14 carries as Dallas coasted to a 49-29 win.

Despite Pollard's huge performance, the Cowboys do not see Elliott taking a back seat to Pollard when he returns.

Dallas Cowboys Running Back

According to team owner Jerry Jones, Elliott is still the lead back in Dallas and will reclaim his role when he comes back, which will likely be after the Cowboys' Week 9 bye. Jones is deeply invested in Elliott (literally) after signing him to a six-year, $90 million extension in 2019.

Elliott's performance has declined in recent years, however, as he's no longer the dominant RB1 he was earlier in his career. He now essentially shares backfield duties with Pollard, as Elliott has 115 touches this season compared to Pollard's 93. The latter has been much more efficient, however, racking up 627 total yards versus Elliott's 475.

With the Cowboys financially tethered to Elliott, it makes sense why they're reluctant to make him a highly expensive backup even though Pollard is clearly the superior player at this point in their careers. After Pollard's monster game, it's clear there's nothing he can do to wrestle the job away from Elliott as long as the latter is healthy and reasonably effective.

There shouldn't be a running back controversy in Dallas because Pollard surpassed Elliott a while ago. Instead, there isn't one simply because Jones won't allow it, suggesting he doesn't care about winning games as much as he cares about who he's paying to win them.

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