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Tony Pollard Should Start In Dallas? NFL World Reacts

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Running back Tony Pollard (20) of the Dallas Cowboys during pregame warm-ups before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

ESPN NFL insider Bill Barnwell joined the list of people calling for Tony Pollard to start at running back over Ezekiel Elliott in 2022.

Pollard put up impressive numbers in 2021, while Elliott looked like a lesser version of his All-Pro self.


The problem with blaming the context around Elliott, though, is that there's another back who shouldered a meaningful workload in Dallas a season ago. Tony Pollard carried the ball 130 times to Elliott's 237. Next Gen's model suggests Pollard was placed in beneficial situations, as his average rush was expected to generate 4.8 yards per carry, a figure topped only by those of Miles Sanders and Darrell Henderson Jr. Even given those higher expectations in terms of where and when he carried the ball, however, Pollard simply blew Elliott's performance out of the water.

While it's unlikely that Pollard will start, it's possible he'll get a bigger workload in 2022.

Not everyone is convinced, though.

"Two completely different backs. You can't compare a hard runner to a finesse runner. That's like comparing Jacobs / Bradshaw from the Giants hay day. Or even a guy like Fournette and whoever spells him," one fan tweeted.

"These scenarios for NFL orgs are so tough. The fan base would lose it if they had let go of Zeke in FA, but the player almost can’t exceed the value of a huge, long-term deal. The Ravens choice to keep Flacco after the SB is a similarly tough one that comes to mind," another fan added.

As Cowboys Maven points out, Elliott wasn't fully healthy in 2021.

"It is unfair to evaluate Elliott's stats in 2021 without considering the ligament injury sustained in October. Under medical supervision, he played through it. There was no risk of further injury, but there was discomfort," Mike Fisher writes.

The Cowboys will have some tough decisions to make at running back moving forward.