Cowboys RB Tony Pollard on brink of 1000-yard mark, but status vs. Titans is unknown

Pollard has missed practice twice this week with a thigh injury.

Dallas Cowboys' Tony Pollard catches a pass in front of Philadelphia Eagles' Reed...

Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Pollard catches a pass in front of Philadelphia Eagles’ Reed Blankenship during the first half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)(Ron Jenkins / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

FRISCO — Tony Pollard is 12 yards from achieving the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his NFL career, a milestone he should have no trouble topping Thursday in his home state.

That is, of course, if he plays.

The Cowboys practiced Tuesday without their Pro Bowl running back. He and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch were the only players on their roster who missed practice, as they deal with thigh and neck injuries, respectively.

Vander Esch is not expected to be available against the Titans.

Pollard, a Memphis native, has not missed a game this season while setting career highs with 186 carries, 988 yards and nine touchdowns.

The team will assign a game-status designation for him Wednesday afternoon. If the club is indeed expecting to be without Pollard, running back Qadree Ollison likely would be elevated from the practice squad by 3 p.m. Thursday.

Undrafted rookie Malik Davis would see more work on offense with Ollison busy on special teams.

“Malik’s a true pro,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever ran across a rookie that’s just that mature as he is. He just handles all his business on and off the field. You can tell he had a great upbringing. Just a great dude all around.

“When you’re taking care of your business in all aspects of your life, it’s going to carry over to the game, and you’ve seen that. …

“Any moment he’s had, he’s played really good football, special teams and at running back. Very smart football player. He’s got very good running instincts. He can block. He can do it all.”

Quarterback Dak Prescott echoed the sentiment.

He called Davis “a guy that’s been honestly waiting on his number to be called.”

“And if it becomes this Thursday,” Prescott added, “I’ve got all the confidence that he’ll be ready, whether it’s pass blocking, run game — whatever it is that we ask him to do.”

Michael Gehlken

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