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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Jerry Jones addresses Cowboys’ RB questions after Tony Pollard eruption

Jerry Jones in sunglasses

Sep 19, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott missed Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears with a knee injury, but the Dallas Cowboys’ run game did not suffer. As has happened many times in the past, Tony Pollard stepped in for Elliott and proved he is capable of creating issues for defenders. Pollard has outplayed Elliott by a fairly wide margin this season, but Jerry Jones insists there are no questions over which back should start.

Pollard rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries in his team’s 49-29 win over Chicago. He added a 16-yard reception. Pollard is now averaging an eye-popping 6.2 yards per carry through eight games. Elliott has averaged 4.1.

Despite that, Jones told reporters on Sunday that Elliott is in zero danger of losing his starting job.

“There’s no argument,” Jones said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. Z”eke’s ability to punish, Zeke’s ability to deliver, Zeke’s ability, what he does for us in pass protection, and, frankly, Zeke’s ability to make big plays are there, and we’re going to go where Zeke goes. He’s that integral to our success.”

Elliott is playing under a six-year, $90 million contract. He has a base salary of around $12 million this season and an $18 million cap hit. One theory is that Jones does not want to admit that there is a running back on the Cowboys’ roster who is better than Elliott given that Zeke is one of the highest-paid backs in the NFL.

That is not a great way to manage a team, of course. The best players should play, and Pollard has consistently looked better than Elliott. Even if Elliott continues to “start,” head coach Mike McCarthy would be wise to give Pollard more touches going forward.

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