Jerry Jones: Elliott needs to be lead RB, still a role for Pollard

Posted: 30/07/2022 in NFL
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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones believes it’s necessary for Ezekiel Elliott to lead the backfield, but he still envisions a role for backup Tony Pollard.

“Zeke’s got to be our feature (running back), and he is our feature. We can feature him in a lot of different ways,” Jones said Saturday on NFL Network, per NFL.com’s Kevin Patra. “We all recognize what he does in the passing game because of his protection ability. Don’t ever underestimate that, especially with Zeke.”

“So, it’s critical that we make Zeke – because he’s capable of being that – really the focus of what we’re doing,” Jones continued. “There’s plenty of room for Pollard when Zeke’s in there. Pollard needs to get the ball.”

Elliott’s production has drawn criticism in recent years. His yards-per-game figure has decreased every season since his rookie campaign, and he hasn’t had a Pro Bowl nod since 2019. The 27-year-old finished the 2021 campaign with 1,002 yards on 4.2 yards per carry.

Meanwhile, Pollard has excelled in limited action as the Cowboys’ No. 2 running back. The former fourth-round pick set new career highs last season in rushing yards (719) and yards per attempt (5.5).

Elliott is in the midst of a six-year, $90-million extension he signed in 2019. He accounts for an $18.2-million cap hit this season, but the Cowboys can get out of his deal with an $11.9-million dead-money charge in 2023, per Spotrac.

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