The Dallas Cowboys may have just dropped a serious tip on running back Ezekiel Elliott’s availability with their latest roster moves before the Green Bay Packers game.
Fans of the Cowboys have been watching Elliott’s status closely, as he recovers from a knee injury suffered late in the Week 7 win over the Detroit Lions. The running back missed the win over the Chicago Bears, and has spent the past two weeks nursing his injury.
His status for Sunday remains questionable, but the Cowboys are electing to elevate a running back from their practice squad, which could be insurance or could be an active replacement for Elliott.
“The @dallascowboys elevated RB Qadree Ollison and G Dakoda Shepley prior to tomorrow’s game at Green Bay,” the Cowboys’ official PR account Tweeted on November 12.
Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken provided an interesting point, saying that Dallas has not brought four running backs into a game all season.
“With Ollison, team is either dressing four for first time Sunday vs. Packers or will be without one of other three. Ezekiel Elliott (knee) is questionable,” Gehlken wrote after the roster move was announced.
The move definitely confirms that Elliott won’t be taking on a full workload, but it doesn’t necessarily rule him out against the Packers.
Getting to Know Ollison Before Packers Game
If Ollison’s name is unfamiliar, that’s understandable: he has only recently joined the Cowboys, and has appeared in just one game this season with just two offensive snaps against the Bears.
However, Ollison has one of the most impressive touchdown-to-touches ratio in the NFL. According to Pro Football Reference, the 26-year-old has scored five NFL touchdowns in just 44 rushing touches.
Over three years with the Atlanta Falcons, Ollison was used as a versatile tool on offense and special teams, but one of his key duties was short-yardage situations. As a rookie, that earned him four touchdowns in eight games.
He would only appear 11 times over the next two seasons, but put up a respectable 105 rushing yards and 21 touches in 2021 before eventually leaving the Falcons in the offseason.
Cowboys RB Could Be Due for Another Explosive Day
If Elliott is going to miss the game against the Packers, it should mean good things for Tony Pollard. The Cowboys’ backup RB has had a very good season through eight weeks, but his performance against the Bears was on a different level.
Taking over the lead role for Elliott, Pollard took 14 touches for 131 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Dallas scored more points than they had previously all season, putting up a monstrous 49 points on the road in Chicago.
Elliott already faces pressure to perform due to being the NFL’s highest-paid running back, but the presence of Pollard only exacerbates questions of his value. Missing the game against Green Bay and Pollard having another huge performance will only add to that notion.
That being said, owner Jerry Jones has expressed his confidence in Zeke and that he will play against the Packers. With the addition of Ollison, it feels as if it will come down to a game-time decision.