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Mike McCarthy Makes His Thoughts On Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard Clear

Mike McCarthy at his Dallas Cowboys press conference.

FRISCO, TEXAS - JANUARY 08: Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys talks with the media during a press conference at the Ford Center at The Star on January 08, 2020 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Ezekiel Elliott has been the Dallas Cowboys' No. 1 running back whenever he's been healthy. But with No. 2 running back Tony Pollard making a big impact on his snaps, head coach Mike McCarthy has often been questioned as to who the true No. 1 back is.

So McCarthy decided to try and clear the air on the running back situation heading into Week 1. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, McCarthy declared that both running backs have No. 1 back talent and can be an elite tandem.

“Oh I think they both hold their own,” McCarthy said, via ProFootballTalk. “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.”

Last year the Cowboys had the No. 1 offense in the NFL as Elliott and Pollard both recorded over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. They combined for over 1,700 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.

But unlike Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard isn't being paid like a No. 1 running back - not yet at least. Pollard is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and will be a free agent after this season.

It seems unlikely that the Cowboys will give Pollard elite running back money after the season like they gave Elliott a few years back. 

This might be the last year that Elliott and Pollard are in the same backfield together. 

Will the Cowboys have the top rushing attack in the NFL this year?