It’s been clear for a couple seasons now that Tony Pollard was the best running back on the Dallas Cowboys roster. Despite that, the team still leaned on Ezekiel Elliott as the 1a to Pollard’s 1b, giving the former more touches despite results that argued to the contrary.
But Elliott’s gone now, clearing the way, finally, for Pollard to take on a featured role in Cowboys’ offense this season. He’s already a popular choice within the first five picks of fantasy football drafts this year, and for anyone who’s watched him play recently, 2023 promises to be a huge year.
Cowboys starting running back: Tony Pollard
Despite finishing behind Elliott for total carries again last season, Pollard posted much better numbers. He had 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns on 193 carries, boasting an impressive 5.2 yards per carry compared to 3.8 for Elliott. He had a clear edge as a pass catcher, taking 39 receptions for 371 yards and three touchdowns.
With to the No. 1 job all to himself, Pollard could easily rack up the kind of totals that would make him the top scoring running back in fantasy football this year. He’ll play on the franchise tag this year too, a one-year deal with a guaranteed $10 million payout, giving him even more incentive this season for a massive pay day next spring.
Who is Tony Pollard’s backup on the Cowboys RB depth chart?
Despite Pollard’s ascendancy on the roster, there’s been no shortage of rumors connecting the Cowboys to veteran running backs on the market, but so far, that nothing’s happened. For now, Malik Davis is the favorite for the No. 2 role.
Davis, an undrafted rookie signed by the Cowboys in 2022, had 161 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries last season. He secured his spot after a standout performance through the preseason last year.
Deuce Vaughn, a sixth-round pick this year, is worth keeping an eye on in camp and the preseason this year. A little on the small side, the Kansas State product showed versatility as a rusher and receiver in college. He could play his way into a part-time role on third downs this season with a strong showing in the preseason.