While the Cowboys’ offensive identity is multiplicity, the running game with their running partner has been the engine to success.
FRISCO – Coming out of the two-minute break in the fourth period last Sunday, the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, Kellen Moore, I knew that one more first attempt would win the game against the Carolina panthers.
So naturally he lined up Ezekiel Elliott as fullback with Tony pollard as tailback.
The defenders of the Panthers they rushed to close the way to Elliott at the time it took the delivery of Dak prescott to the right, but pitched the ovoid to Pollard on the option play, leading to a 5-yard gain. The Cowboys they got their first attempt and with it, their third victory in a row.
“I don’t know if we’ve been practicing it since camp [de entrenamiento] or the first weeks of the season, but it is a play that we had there in the last three weeks, at least, “he revealed Elliott. “In the end, we needed that first try, they had everyone lined up on the line, and it was a perfect opportunity.”
Ezekiel Elliott & Tony Pollard have both been on the field together for 23 plays through four games this season, including the Cowboys game-winning play on an option-toss from Elliott to Pollard.
– Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 3, 2021
Perhaps it is appropriate that the pair of Elliott–Pollard won the match for the Cowboys. Throughout the three-game winning streak, they have combined for 545 yards, the best total for a duo in the league. NFL. From Week 2, Elliott is second in the NFL with 309 yards; Pollard he is fifth with 236 yards.
While the offensive identity of the Cowboys It is multiplicity, the running game has been the engine towards success.
“We are very competitive, but we are two different styles of runner,” he said. Pollard. “It’s significant and it’s important, especially when you can have the two of us on the same team. We just feed off each other. Nobody competes against the one next door. We’re both out there doing our thing.”
Much has been said about the offseason work of Elliott with the personal tutor of runners Josh hicks, and the weight loss of Elliott up to 218 pounds, which is what he weighed in his freshman year, in Ohio State. But Pollard he was there for most of the sessions as well.
“We have a good brotherhood,” he said. Elliott. “… We keep each other fresh. I mean, I think we all together, we want the best for each other. So we are going to do our best to push each other, challenge each other, improve each other. If there is anything I can do to help his game and something he can do to help my game, we push ourselves to be better players.
The Cowboys they’ve had solid running pairs in the recent past. Julius Jones and Marion barber come to mind in the mid-2000s, followed by the pair between Barber and Felix jones. Since the arrival of Elliott In 2016, however, Cowboys they have almost always depended on him alone.
Only twice in the career of Elliott with Dallas (2017, 2020) has surpassed the second best runner of the Cowboys 100 carries in a season, and in 2017 it was because Elliott missed six games due to suspension. Last season, Pollard added 101 carries, compared to 244 for Elliott.
Before this year, Pollard he had double digits in carries in back-to-back games once. In the past three games, he had 13, 11 and 10 carries.
But I don’t think Cowboys go to erase Elliott gradually. He had the fewest carries (64) after four games in his entire career, but his third most yards (342) and most touchdowns (four). His 47-yard breakaway against the Panthers it was his longest since his rookie year.
Ezekiel Elliott (342) and Tony Pollard (250) are the first pair of Cowboys running backs with 250+ rushing yards in first four games of a season.
– Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) October 4, 2021
Prescott he is the biggest beneficiary of the duo’s success.
“Just because the defense doesn’t know what’s coming,” he said. Prescott. “Being able to count on the package, everything it does Tony and then the strengths of Zeke. Kellen He does a great job of putting those two in situations where they can show their strengths. “
Moore has studied other pairs of runners in recent years, such as when the New Orleans Saints they had Mark Ingram II and Alvin kamara. Ingram he was the most powerful runner, like Elliott. Kamara he was the fastest runner, like Pollard.
“You always try to find different ways to use the staff to see if you are missing something, or find something from a different team,” he said. Moore.
The calf strain suffered by the wide receiver Michael Gallup could have contributed to a rise in the employment of Pollard and Elliott together on the field, but the head coach of the Saints, Sean Payton, said the ability to use two running backs at the same time stretches a defense.
It could also stretch the life of the main corridor.
“It’s tough – 16, now 17 regular season games – I think it’s tough for that position to stay healthy,” he said. Payton. “So I think from the beginning, they have taught me to have depth in that position.”
Moore said there is a balance in the way Cowboys they use both brokers. Sometimes it is part of the flow of the game. Sometimes, it’s a change of pace for a particular series. Sometimes it is due to whether one of the corridors is on.
“We have different styles of running, so we’re going to run different plays differently, and the defense is going to have to stop those carries differently,” he said. Elliott. “So if they get used to me punishing them for 10 plays, and then TP comes in, and they are used to stopping me in a certain way. But TP is faster, more mobile, so I could run the carry in a different way. It keeps you on the defensive guessing. “
Many runners say they get better with more work. Pollard he has never had more than 14 carries in a game in his three seasons. Elliott he has 38 games with more than 20 carries, but four of 20 or more in his last 19 starts.
“I don’t think they have met a perimeter player in the NFL that it would be good if I didn’t want the ball, “said the head coach Mike mccarthy. “They’re all made that way. They better do it. That’s what all perimeter players are like. We understand. Since I got here, I told you clearly that the offense is built around making the quarterback successful. Dak … has been excellent. We have to keep distributing the ball either in the running game or in the air game. With that, we’ll be the best we can be on offense. “
Elliott and Pollard They could be the best pair of runners in the NFL, although some others might point to Nick chubb (362 yards) and Kareem hunt (234 yards) with Cleveland browns.
“The sky is the limit,” he declared Elliott. “I think there is definitely potential to be one of the best pairs in the league.”
Information from Mike Triplett was used in the writing of this note.