The Cowboys’ usually reliable rushing attack has sputtered a bit of late. Outside of Tony Pollard’s 58-yard touchdown dash and a designed 33-yard run by wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, Dallas gained just 58 yards on 19 carries in last week’s win over the New Orleans Saints, not counting three late kneeldowns by quarterback Dak Prescott.
In the last three games, Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott have rushed for only 201 yards on 54 carries. Jones thinks Steele could help raise those numbers.
On 105.3 The Fan today, the Cowboys’ owner said he doesn’t know whether Steele or La’El Collins will start at right tackle moving forward, but says both will play. Whoever isn’t the first-team tackle will be used as a jumbo tight end.
“I think it’s the best we’ve been all year,” Jones said, via Mark Lane of WFAA. “You’ve got an improved Collins. You got a Steele that we know and are very confident he can play at the right tackle — just play well there. And, so, in doing so, we will use the fact that we got Collins at his best this year. We got Steele. We’ll use that as one of the, or a way, to help our running game. We will do that. What that lets us do relative to any other formations that we use, we’ll have a big guy in that you would normally have a tight end. That will help us out.”
— Mark Lane (@therealmarklane) December 7, 2021
It’s sort of odd to hear an owner discuss Xs and Os like this publicly, but hey, that’s Jerry Jones for you. It also seems like a sensible enough strategy, considering Dallas has the necessary depth now up front.
If the Cowboys are going to make a run deep in the postseason, they will need Prescott to play well. You can’t win in the NFL today if you can’t throw–unless you’re the Patriots playing in Buffalo last night.
However, Dallas will also need to have a viable rushing attack in the postseason to take some pressure off its passing game and control the clock in certain situations.