Dallas Cowboys using Tony Pollard at WR in mini-camp (what it means)

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

In Mike McCarthy’s press conference today he let a few nuggets slip. He talked about how the Cowboys structure their work week for their coaches and game prep, how expectations are high for edge rusher Randy Gregory, and even what the Dallas Cowboys demand from their receivers.

At one point, McCarthy even stated “Giving away all my secrets! You guys have to stop asking really good questions today“

Tony Pollard has been getting snaps at WR for the Dallas Cowboys in camp – here’s what that means…

While the press conference was jam-packed with useful and exciting information, one item stood out as especially tantalizing – Tony Pollard getting snaps at WR.

"“Tony Pollard’s been playing some receiver,” McCarthy said. “It gives us the opportunity to rep those concepts with Tony that we didn’t do a whole lot of last year.”"

In all fairness, this is the time of year were Cowboys fans and media notoriously make mountains out of molehills. And in some ways that’s the case here with Pollard. When pressed on the issue McCarthy expanded on the health of the WR corps and that the health and availably of others played a part in Pollard’s WR snaps.

It’s also worth pointing out Pollard has done this before, both in collage and in the pros. He takes snaps at WR in practices and in games. Last year he took 58 snaps at WR (split between wide and slot) but he was used more a decoy and didn’t make a very big impact in that role.

Pollard isn’t going to be a staple at WR but lining up a couple time per game certainly isn’t nothing.

So while we’re probably making a big deal about a fairly casual comment, it doesn’t mean Pollard getting work at WR is no big deal at all. If Dallas continues to sprinkle in 21 looks, like Sport DFW writer Dan Ruppert has suggested, it forces defenses to change their personnel.

Since most defenses respond to 21 personnel with a base defense, it gives Pollard a heckuva advantage splitting out as a WR. After all, if Pollard can only be halfway competent as a route-runner he’ll have a clear advantage on most linebackers.

No one’s expecting Pollard to be the second coming of Alvin Kamara, but if he can offer a handful of plays as a receiver, it could take the Dallas Cowboys offense to another level. Just a couple plays will cause defenses to react and that could be all the difference.

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Tony Pollard getting snaps at WR is not breaking news or on its own or a very a big deal. But it’s not nothing either. With this full and non-virtual offseason, Mike McCarthy is getting the chance to get creative and experiment. He was hesitant to do things last year because he simply didn’t know players had the ability to (as he stated regarding Pollard and Randy Gregory). Pollard isn’t going to be a staple at WR but lining up a couple times per game certainly isn’t nothing.

There will be some who say this is no news at all, but I’d argue their dismissiveness is equally as negligent as those who are making a big deal about this. The more McCarthy can see from his players and their different abilities, the better. Because it allows him get creative and exploit mismatches. It allows him to scheme. It allows him to strategize. All things that were missing from the Cowboys in 2020.

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Let’s see more of this from the Cowboys this offseason.

  • Published on 06/03/2021 at 18:15 PM
  • Last updated at 06/03/2021 at 18:15 PM