Tony Pollard Can 'Definitely' Play over 30 Snaps After Cowboys RB Coach's Comments

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVNovember 11, 2022

Tony Pollard
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard downplayed comments from his position coach, Skip Peete, that suggested he loses effectiveness after 30 plays.

"I definitely can do more [than 30 snaps]," Pollard told reporters Thursday. "I'm pretty sure he didn't mean exactly a 30-play cutoff."

He added: "Whatever they ask me to do, whatever they need me to do, I got it."

Peete's remarks came after a Week 8 win over the Chicago Bears, which saw Pollard record 147 total yards and three touchdowns while replacing the injured Ezekiel Elliott in the starting lineup. He suggested 30 plays was the rusher's "max."

"Tony's obviously a very talented runner and good all-around back, but some guys are race cars," Peete said. "Some guys are high-quality, expensive sedans and those sedans can go for a long distance at a very high rate, whereas race cars go very fast and quick and run out of gas."

The stance represented a blow to the growing calls for the more dynamic Pollard to overtake Elliott on the Cowboys' backfield depth chart.

Team owner Jerry Jones also suggested there were no plans to remove Elliott from the lineup once he recovered from a knee injury.

"There's no argument," Jones said. "Zeke's ability to punish, Zeke's ability to deliver, Zeke's ability, what he does for us in pass protection, and, frankly, Zeke's ability to make big plays are there, and we're going to go as Zeke goes. I really mean he's that integral to our success this year."

The Cowboys had a bye in Week 9 and Elliott appears on track to return for Sunday's road game at the Green Bay Packers, with head coach Mike McCarthy saying Thursday there was "no concern" physically after practice.

Statistically, Pollard holds a clear advantage in both yards per carry (6.2-4.1) and yards per catch (10.1-5.3), but Dallas remains hesitant to move away from the more punishing Elliott, who's also a more reliable pass-blocker.

Of course, the financial implications are also part of the equation.

Elliott, 27, is signed through 2026 as part of a six-year, $90 million contract, a total commitment $15 million above any other NFL running back ($75 million for the New Orleans Saints' Alvin Kamara), per Spotrac.

Pollard, 25, is in the final year of his rookie contract and can become an unrestricted free agent at season's end if an extension isn't signed.

Regardless of the reason, it sounds like the Cowboys will continue to share the workload between their two top running backs, with a slight edge toward Elliott.

Dallas enters Sunday's clash with the Packers second in the NFC East with a 6-2 record, putting the team on track to earn at least a wild-card berth barring a collapse.