It is clear the Dallas Cowboys are at their greatest after they have each Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott within the roster.

    For all of the chatter and debate about how Pollard ought to begin Elliott due to his big-play capacity — Pollard’s 5.9 yards per carry far exceeds Elliott’s common of three.9 yards per carry — the Dallas’ offensive benefits as a result of skills of each gamers.

    Because the Cowboys proceed to mount their operating again duo to nice success — at 7-3, they seem to be a Tremendous Bowl favourite — an important subject coming into the offseason for the franchise would be the way forward for the 2 backs. Pollard, 25, will enter free company and is predicted to be probably the greatest fullbacks round. In the meantime, Dallas may have an exit in Elliott’s contract this offseason as they will transfer from the three-time Professional Bowl operating again with a useless cap one shade decrease than $12.0 million.

    The truth is, the Cowboys should not select one over the opposite — they need to discover a method to carry each operating backs again.

    As Heavy Sports activities’ Matt Lombardo factors out, Dallas might very effectively discover a answer by slapping Pollard with the franchise tag and restructuring Elliott’s deal right into a extra team-friendly contract.

    “Do not be stunned if Dallas makes use of the franchise tag on the 25-year-old and restructures Elliott’s contract to decrease his cap and maintain the 2 at Arlington,” Lombardo stated.

    Lombardo explains how the Cowboys might make it work financially.

    “With the 2023 franchise tag anticipated to price operating backs $9.57 million, and Elliott anticipated to boost $10.9 million in 2023 whereas counting $16.7 million over the cap, tagging Pollard and asking Elliott to take a pay lower could show to be the simplest method to maintain each reinstated in 2023 and past,” Lombardo stated.

    The Cowboys offense ranks seventh within the league in factors per recreation (25.1 factors) and fourth within the league in DVOA, based on Soccer Outsiders. These elite rankings are virtually completely right down to dashing effectivity, with Dallas rating eighth in dashing yards and fourth within the league in touchdowns.

    Pollard is arguably the very best operating again within the league. The speedster had two landing receptions of no less than 30 yards within the Cowboys’ 40-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings, their largest blowout street win in franchise historical past.

    His capacity to not solely land an enormous play but additionally line up within the slot makes him probably the greatest twin menace gamers within the league.

    That being stated, the 209-pound Pollard performs higher in area than in goal-line and close-range conditions. That is the place Elliott excels. Actually, the 27-year-old Elliott had two goal-line touchdowns within the win over the Vikings the place Pollard fell quick.

    For instance, Pollard has missed two consecutive performs contained in the Vikings’ two-yard line. In the meantime, Elliott completed the drive with a one-yard landing run on a third-and-goal conversion within the first quarter to present Dallas a 10-3 lead.

    Group proprietor Jerry Jones defined why Elliott is so crucial to the Cowboys’ success.

    “There isn’t any argument,” Jones stated after Dallas’ win over the Chicago Bears in Week 8. Zeke’s capacity to punish, Zeke’s capacity to ship, Zeke’s capacity, what he does for us relating to cross safety and, frankly, Zake’s capacity to make the large performs is there, and we’ll go the place Zeke goes. It’s integral to our success.

    As Cowboys operating backs coach Skip Peete defined after Pollard’s 131-yard outburst towards the Bears, Dallas’ offense works greatest with two backs.

    By way of Calvin Watkins of Dallas Morning Information:

    “It’s a must to have a cool again in there always,” Peete stated. “It can work as a result of you have got completely different kinds and you’ve got guys who’re each starters however they share the workload and on the finish of the day you have got a brand new comeback from the sport one to no matter. he has. I realized that from my outdated boss Al Davis.

    Peete defined why it is sensible to go along with a two-back platoon system.

    “Tony is clearly a really gifted runner, a great all-around again (and) can play all tries,” Peete stated. “It is like some guys are racing vehicles. Some guys are top quality, very costly sedans. A sedan can journey endlessly and a protracted distance at a really excessive tempo, whereas race vehicles can go very excessive and quick after which run out of fuel. I’ve all the time thought on this place you all the time must have two guys who’re high quality fullbacks who can bounce off one another and that helps if the operating kinds are a bit of completely different.

    Whereas Dallas followers could lengthy for the thought of ​​Pollard being the Cowboys’ lone guard, it will be a smart transfer for the franchise to retain each guards heading into the 2023 season.

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