Cowboys Projected to Find Fit in ‘Bruising’ Potential Tony Pollard Replacement

D'Onta Foreman, a potential Cowboys target

Getty D'Onta Foreman, a potential Cowboys target

Despite the good feeling and momentum generated by the Cowboys in the games since they went on the bye in Week 7, one issue remains a concern: the poor production in the red zone. Dallas is the highest scoring team in the NFL, at 388 points, and have averaged 39 points per game since they lost to the Eagles, a game that was followed by the break. But the difficulty that running back Tony Pollard has had in producing needed yards in short situations is still holding the offense back.

It is with that in mind that Pollard, a free agent next offseason, is considered a strong possibility to land elsewhere next season. Even if Dallas did bring him back—or if it gave the job to backup Rico Dowdle—the Cowboys would be looking to add a hammer-type running back to improve their red zone efficiency, something hat was not an issue when Ezekiel Elliott was in his prime.

And at Pro Football Focus, they see the Cowboys finding just the right “fit” in Bears backup D’Onta Foreman, who has carried for 388 yards and a 4.1 yards-per-carry average this season.


Cowboys Need a ‘Bruising Runner’

D’Onta Foreman had been a third-round pick out of Texas by the Texans in 2017, and tore his Achilles tendon in the offseason before his second year. When he came back, the Texans were unimpressed by his work ethic and his tendency to be late for meetings. They waived him and he has since bounced from Tennessee to Carolina and, now, to the Bears.

He is averaging 4.1 yards per carry and has averaged 4.3 yards in his career.

Wrote PFF: “Foreman has been an effective bruising, downhill runner between the tackles over the past two seasons with the Carolina Panthers and now in Chicago. Foreman signed a one-year flier with Chicago and is generally a healthy scratch when Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson are both healthy, which leads one to believe he won’t be retained but also keeps him fresh for another opportunity in 2024. Foreman’s 0.2 forced missed tackle per attempt rate is a top-25 mark at the position, and his 2.8 yards after contact per attempt is in the top 40.

Foreman is current on a one-year, $2 million contract with the Bears. He is projected as a one-year, $3 million player in terms of market value by Spotrac next year. For the Cowboys, Tony Pollard is slated to make $10 million this year, playing on the franchise tag.


Tony Pollard  Part of Red-Zone Struggles

Tony Pollard will be heading into free agency this year, too, and is doing so on a downswing. His numbers have been better lately, but he lacks the power ability the Cowboys need in short situations—none of the backs on the roster have that level of burst between the tackles.

The Cowboys are just 17th in the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage, getting into the end zone on just 53.7% of their attempts this year, down from 71,4% last year. That does not all fall on the shoulders of Pollard, of course, but there’s no doubt that his running style does is not well suited to the grin-it-out play required in the end zone.

That’s where Forman could help—either as a complement to  Tony Pollard, or as his replacement.

 

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