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Fantasy Alert: Dak Prescott Says Tony Pollard Can Be 1 of Cowboys' Top Pass-Catchers

Adam WellsAugust 26, 2022

Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Despite Jerry Jones' continued insistence that Ezekiel Elliott is the driving force for the Dallas Cowboys offense, there are strong indications Tony Pollard will have an increased presence on the field in 2022.

One reason fantasy managers should keep a close eye on Pollard is because of Dak Prescott's comments about the fourth-year running back's role in the passing game.

"He can get out there and be one of our best pass-catchers," Prescott said, per ESPN's Todd Archer, "and just the way that he's grown, just with his route running from the time that we've asked him to take on that role is impressive itself."

Elliott has been a productive player throughout his career, but there was a noticeable dip in his performance over the past two seasons. The Ohio State product has racked up 1,981 yards and 16 touchdowns on 481 attempts in 32 starts since 2020.

From 2016-19, Elliott averaged 292 carries, 1,351 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Pollard has emerged as a key piece of the offense over the past three seasons. The 2019 fourth-round pick set career highs in touches (169), carries (130), yards from scrimmage (1,056) and rushing yards (719) in 15 games last year.

There are some big concerns for the Cowboys offense heading into this season. The receiving corps isn't nearly as strong as it has been since Amari Cooper was traded to the Cleveland Browns and Cedrick Wilson Jr. signed with the Miami Dolphins in free agency.

Dallas' usually dominant line looks like it could be a significant problem. Tyron Smith is expected to miss most, if not all, of the season with an avulsion fracture in his left knee, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Connor McGovern, who has started 14 games in two seasons, will replace Connor Williams at left guard. Terence Steele has to replace La'el Collins at right tackle. Center Tyler Biadasz (64.8 overall) was the lowest-graded member of the starting unit last year, per Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus.

Right guard Zack Martin is the only sure thing.

Potential issues in pass protection and run blocking could force head coach Mike McCarthy to rely on quick passes. Among returning players, Pollard ranked fourth on the team in receptions (39) and fifth in targets (46) last season.

It would be a waste of Pollard's talent to feed Elliott the ball 300 times because of the latter's contract.

If the Cowboys want to maximize their potential in 2022, Pollard should be a big part of the offense. That makes him a high-upside bet for fantasy managers.

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