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‘Definitely a tandem’: Mike McCarthy won’t name Ezekiel Elliott RB1 over Tony Pollard

Tony Pollard, Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, Mike McCarthy

The Dallas Cowboys head into the 2022 season with high expectations. In particular, big things are expected out of running back Ezekiel Elliott, who has been hyped up numerous times this summer by owner Jerry Jones. But if you’re asking head coach Mike McCarthy, he doesn’t have a first-string RB. Zeke and Tony Pollard are both more than capable of carrying the workload.

Via Pro Football Talk:

“Oh I think they both hold their own,” McCarthy said. “I look at both of those guys as No. 1 runners, or however you want to categorize it. Tony can play. I think when you look at running backs — I know how I define them — [it’s about] their ability to play on all three downs, and Zeke and Tony both have that ability. Zeke’s done it his whole career. So I think they’re definitely a tandem and that’s obviously a focal point for us.”

Ezekiel Elliott started all 17 contests in 2021, rushing for 1,002 yards and 10 touchdowns. It was a bounce-back campaign of some sort for Zeke, but we all know he’s capable of more. As for Pollard, he made the most of his limited touches, rushing for 719 yards on the ground and another 339 yards in the air.

While McCarthy’s comments might make one think that Zeke won’t start, that is simply not what he means. Most likely, he’ll get the majority of the snaps once again in the backfield. However, Pollard is a legitimate weapon in numerous ways offensively and can hold his own when called upon. The Cowboys are lucky to have two backs who are so talented. If one is struggling, you can expect the other to get more touches. They’re a tandem after all.