Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sees Ezekiel Elliott-Tony Pollard RB committee as 'a great asset to this team'

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is embracing the idea of a running back platoon between Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, as Pollard continues to impress with his increasing role in the backfield.

After Pollard posted the third 100-yard rushing game of his career Sunday, Jones acknowledged Tuesday that the offense needs the smaller, more explosive Pollard more involved.

“I see it as a great asset to this team. You don’t have an issue. We can have more carries or more touches by the running back, and in my opinion, will. Because both the players are outstanding out of the backfield as receivers, and quite a threat,” Jones said during his weekly radio interview at 105.3 The Fan. “When you see (Kellen) Moore, our coordinator, doing the job he did to neutralize (the Chargers) defense, you see what getting the ball out quick, getting the ball outside to those backs can do.”

Jones also provided an update on injured receiver Amari Cooper (ribs), saying that he’s “hopeful” the wideout will be comfortable enough to play against the Eagles on Monday Night Football. Cooper’s status could end up influencing how Moore decides to deploy his talented backfield.

Pollard was outstanding in Dallas’ 20-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, rushing 13 times for 109 yards for a per-carry average of 8.4 yards, four yards more than the incumbent starter Elliott.

It’s Elliott, of course, who has three Pro Bowls on his resume, and had a far bigger role than Pollard just a year ago (244 carries to 101). But Pollard’s ability to gain yardage in chunks on the perimeter with his speed and quickness is becoming an imperative in the Cowboys offense. Jones said the size of Elliott’s contract – he’s playing on a restructured deal that will count just $6.82 million against the salary cap in 2021, but will jump to more than $18 million in 2022 — has nothing to do with how playing time will be deployed.

“You don’t (weigh the contract) in terms of the ultimate decision. You do what makes the first down, or you do what makes the most yards. You do what wins the game. The facts are, we have an outstanding situation here,” Jones added. “Pollard gets up on them so fast and can really surprise the defense. He’s stronger than he looks. He’s so sudden, he’s got such a burst. And then Zeke, he’s as powerful, and his burst, he punishes the hell out of those defenders. Both of those (backs) are going to be a real staple for us as we get into the season.”

Through two games, Elliott has 31 touches (27 rushes, four receptions) and Pollard has 23 (16 and seven).

It’s not quite an even split, but as long as both players are healthy, consider it a two-back system in Dallas.

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