Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard Tandem 'A Great Asset' to Cowboys, Jerry Jones Says

Doric SamSeptember 21, 2021

Running back (20) Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys runs and scores a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. The Cowboys defeated the Chargers 20-17. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)
AP Photo/Jeff Lewis

The Dallas Cowboys have three-time Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott in their backfield, but he doesn't lead the team in rushing this season. That honor goes to third-year back Tony Pollard, who ran for 100 yards for the third time in his career in Sunday's win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Cowboys president and general manager Jerry Jones sees the tandem backfield as a benefit to the team.

"I see it as a great asset to this team," Jones said Tuesday during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan. "You don't have an issue."

Pollard has 123 rushing yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts with two runs of 20-plus yards. Elliott has rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Jones said he hopes to see the Cowboys focus more on the running game going forward with two talented rushers at their disposal.

"We can have more carries or more touches by the running back, and in my opinion, will," Jones said. "Because both the players are outstanding out of the backfield as receivers and quite a threat."

Elliott has accumulated over 900 rushing yards in each of his first five NFL seasons, with three 1,000-yard campaigns. But it's clear that Pollard has been nipping on his heels for more playing time. Pollard is averaging 7.7 yards per carry so far this season.

"The facts are, we have an outstanding situation here," Jones continued. "Pollard gets up on them so fast and can really surprise the defense. He's stronger than he looks. He's so sudden, he's got such a burst."

Elliott had his contract restructured in August to free up salary-cap space. He's playing for $6.82 million this season, but that number will jump to over $18 million in 2022. Pollard signed a four-year contract with Dallas worth just over $3 million after being selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft.

Jones said the contract numbers should not affect playing time for either running back, and he believes a two-back system will help the team this season.

"You don't (weigh the contract) in terms of the ultimate decision," he said. "You do what makes the first down, or you do what makes the most yards. You do what wins the game."