The Dallas Cowboys‘ two-man backfield may be halved Sunday against the hapless Jets.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett revealed Monday that rookie running back Tony Pollard suffered knee and ankle injuries in Dallas’ Week 5 loss to the Packers.
Garrett conceded Pollard is “banged up” but is hopeful he can practice in some capacity this week and suit up in New Jersey.
It went unseen by many, but Pollard limped off the field following a first-half carry. He handled a kickoff return to start the third quarter but never returned to offensive action.
The Cowboys notched 122 yards on the ground against Green Bay, with starting RB Ezekiel Elliott accounting for 62 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Pollard converted four totes into 19 yards. Quarterback Dak Prescott (27 yards) and wide receiver Tavon Austin (14) rounded out the rushing attack in Dallas’ 34-24 defeat.
Garrett should provide another update on Pollard’s status Wednesday, when the team reconvenes for practice ahead of their Week 6 date with Gang Green.
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Plan of Attack
The Cowboys shouldn’t have too much trouble beating up on the 0-4 Jets, but they may find it hard to penetrate New York’s front seven, which ranks seventh in run defense, surrendering 87.5 yards per game. This, in sharp contrast to their other defensive rankings: points allowed (25th), total yards (13th) and passing yards allowed (21st).
Assuming Pollard cannot go or is limited by his injuries, Dallas figures to employ its usual heavy-artillery approach with Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott in starring roles against an opponent they’re heavily favored to beat.
Considering Pollard is the lone back behind Elliott, however, it’s possible (but not probable) the Cowboys promote rookie Mike Weber from the practice squad to serve as depth, if, as mentioned, Pollard can’t play.
Zeke Speaks Out on Packers Game
The richest running back in NFL history echoed Cowboys owner Jerry Jones following the club’s loss to Green Bay, emphasizing their second straight defeat serves as a “reality check” for a squad who, as Prescott put it, were “sniffing themselves” to an extreme.
“I think we’ve just got to take this loss. Take these last two losses, and use them as fuel,” Elliott said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We’ve go to come out and play a lot harder, play a lot better, and execute. It’s going to be hard to win games in this league if we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. So, we’ve just got to be a better team.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL