Cowboys RB Review: Tony Pollard Shines, Ezekiel Elliott Declines; Draft Bijan Robinson?

The Dallas Cowboys running back unit had an up-and-down season with Pollard establishing himself as the leading man, but as a whole, how did the group perform?

The Dallas Cowboys running back situation is one of the most intriguing things to watch this offseason. … as it figures to be a position in flux.

Entering the season, Ezekiel Elliott was the starter, but after a few weeks, it became increasingly evident that Tony Pollard was going to overtake him … and he did.

As we enter the offseason, choices need to be made …

Let’s start with Zeke. Statistically, it was an underwhelming season for Elliott, as his days as the once-dominant back are likely over. Despite having his second-best touchdown total of 12, the rest of Elliott’s key stats are his worst since entering the league in 2016.

His 231 rushing attempts for 876 yards, 3.8 yards per carry, yards per game (58.4), and 356 rushing yards before contact are short of what an $11 mil running back would ideally be producing.

No longer the foundation of the offense, a decision will be made on his future … with the team and the player wishing to continue on together – at a more affordable rate.

Behind Zeke and Pollard, UDFA rookie Malik Davis showed us flashes. Inside The Star, he’s viewed as a keeper as he finished his rookie season with 161 rushing yards from 38 carries while going at 4.1 per clip.

That brings us to Pollard. He and Zeke made themselves into quite the tandem lightning rod of the Cowboys’ offense. coined the phrase “Dine and Dash,” for the duo, with Elliott bringing the physicality and Pollard the speed and they lived up to that.

But while Elliott had a career-low in most statistical categories, Pollard had career-best numbers.

Pollard finished with 1,007 rushing yards from 193 carries, nine touchdowns, and averaged a whopping 5.2 yards per carry. And he caught 39 passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns.

A total of 1,378 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns paints a picture of a player in top form. Pollard had a superb season which ended with a deserved Pro Bowl nod.


Now comes the tough part of football.

While Elliott maybe stays in Frisco, albeit on a restructured deal, there was talk of Dallas franchise-tagging him … but suddenly it’s $12.6 million guaranteed, for a player coming off a nasty ankle injury and a broken left fibula.

Is that wise? If not, what is the next step?

ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. and his latest NFL Mock Draft may have the answer in Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson. With Dallas holding the 26th pick in the draft, could it solve two problems with one player?

Draft Robinson and the team can say goodbye to both vets.

Robinson’s numbers are eye-popping. His 1,580 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns led the Big 12 Conference. He also had 314 receiving yards.

Paying expensive running backs is risky. Drafting affordable running backs is safe. Any evaluation of the Dallas running backs room must consider both of those as facts.

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