The Dallas Cowboys may have two running backs who can carry the load on a full-time basis.
Tony Pollard — who is averaging 6.2 yards per carry as the team’s backup running back — responded to running back coach Skip Peete’s comments that he’s a 30-snap max type of back.
While speaking to reporters on Thursday, November 10, Pollard said he can definitely handle more than 30 snaps.
“I definitely can do more” than 30 snaps, Pollard said. “I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean exactly a 30-play cutoff.”
Cowboys Coach Explains Workload Distribution
On November 1, Peete explained to his reporters the distribution in workload between Pollard and starting back Ezekiel Elliott. Peete basically said Elliott is better suited for longer mileage, whereas Pollard is for shorter spurts.
“Tony obviously is a very talented runner, good all-around back, (and) can play every down,” Peete said. “It’s just like some guys are race cars. Some guys are high-quality, high-expensive sedans. A sedan can go forever and a long distance at a very higher rate where race cars can go very high and quick and then they run out of gas. I always just felt at that position you got to always have two guys that are quality backs that can bounce off each other and it helps if the running styles are a little bit different.”
Peete had previously mentioned how Pollard was tired after his 54-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of Dallas’ Week 8 victory over the Chicago Bears. However, the speedy back explains that was more of a joke than anything else.
“That was more of a joking,” Pollard said. “Not really, ‘I don’t got anything left.’ More, pretty much ready to let the young guys go in there and get some work. That was pretty much what that was.”
The fourth-year veteran has never had more than 14 carries in a game. He reached that career-high mark in the Cowboys’ last game due to Elliott’s injury that sidelined him entering the game.
While the Cowboys have raced off to a surprising 6-2 start despite the absence of starting quarterback Dak Prescott for five games, there is a bit of a running back conundrum. Dallas features two quality backs, but some are clamoring for Pollard get more carries.
Elliott has 109 carries to Pollard’s 81 carries on the season (42.6 percent of the workload between the two), but the latter is averaging 6.2 yards per carry to Elliott’s 4.1 yards a carry.
The debate especially heated up in Pollard’s first start without Elliott’s presence this season. The 25-year-old back ran for 131 yards on 14 carries to go along with three touchdowns.
Jones Says Elliott is Cowboys’ Starting Back: ‘No Argument’
Despite Pollard’s impressive performance, Elliott remains the starting back. Team owner Jerry Jones stressed the importance of Elliott following Pollard’s monster game. He also made sure to clarify that Elliott remains the starting back in Dallas.
“There’s no argument,” Jones said. Z”eke’s ability to punish, Zeke’s ability to deliver, Zeke’s ability, what he does for us in pass protection, and, frankly, Zake’s ability to make big plays are there, and we’re going to go where Zeke goes. He’s that integral to our success.”