Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard: “The sledgehammer and the sword”.

Running back Tony Pollard outshines his highly paid position mate Ezekiel Elliott for the Dallas Cowboys. Coaches and teammates, however, emphasize that the Cowboys’ strength lies in the mix of different types of players.

Dallas/Munich – Tony Pollard was simply unstoppable. The running back of the Dallas Cowboys brought the Minnesota Vikings to despair in the 40:3. With 109 receiving yards, 80 rushing yards and two touchdowns he was the most effective runner and pass receiver at the same time.

The real superstar at this position, Ezekiel Elliott, was merely a marginal figure with 47 yards of space gained. The value for money of Pollard and Elliott could hardly be more different.

Salary difference of more than $17 million

While Elliott averages $18.22 million a year and is the Cowboys’ second-highest paid player behind quarterback Dak Prescott ($19.73 million), Pollard, a 4th-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is still playing under his rookie contract. A relatively modest $1.13 million is his average annual salary.

However, that will soon change. Pollard is in the final season of his rookie contract and will become a free agent in 2023. Wherever that may be, the big payday is bound to come – much like it once did for Elliott.

The career trajectories of the two running backs are very different, however. While Elliott hit the ground running right away in his rookie season in 2016, Pollard has been a rather slow riser. The 455 rushing yards in the 2019 season and the 435 yards in the 2020 season were already followed by a small jump in performance with 719 yards in 2021. Now he has almost reached that figure with 701 yards after just ten games.

That puts Pollard ahead of Elliott as the team’s No. 1 rusher, who has 485 yards in two fewer appearances. Both have run for six touchdowns each. As a pass receiver, Pollard is more effective anyway with 243 receiving yards than Elliott with his 37 receiving yards.

Prescott praises Pollard and Elliott: “A great duo “

According to Prescott, the question is not who is the better running back. The secret to success would be being able to put both of them in a formation. “They’re dynamic. Obviously, if you have both of them out, the defence doesn’t know what’s coming,” the pass rusher explained.

“Pollard scores two touchdowns out of the backfield, ‘Zeke’ makes some runs, it’s just impressive. Those two guys can do anything that’s asked of them. They have no egos and are a great duo. We are blessed with the two of them.”

It’s noticeable that the Cowboys use the two running backs almost identically often, at least on the ground. In the triumph against the Vikings, both were handed the ball 15 times each. Over the season so far, Elliott is on 124 runs, Pollard on 118 runs.

Running backs coach Skip Peete explains, “You always have to have two guys supporting each other at that position. It helps if they have different running styles, too.” The coach gives an apt comparison, “I look at them as a sledgehammer and a sword. The sledgehammer crushes and hammers, and the sword comes in and cuts you up.”

Pollard himself is team-serving and says he has no problem at all with splitting the runs within the team, “It’s something we need to continue throughout the year. We stay fresh in the game when we rotate and keep the defence guessing. It keeps the defense on their toes. “

Pollard eagerly anticipates Thanksgiving duel against Giants

The New York Giants are likely to feel the effects of this in the near future. The division duel against the Giants will take place on Thursday night.

Both teams enter the game with a record of seven wins and three losses. Pollard is looking forward to the duel: “We play on Thanksgiving and the whole nation is watching on television.

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6 days ago
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