Dallas Cowboys: Tony Pollard’s expanded role in 2022

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

There is news coming out of the Dallas Cowboys camp that Tony Pollard will be used more in the slot this year. To fans, this is a welcomed thing as many have been clamoring for Pollard to get more touches, in any way possible.

While many would prefer to see him more out of the backfield, there is some reasoning for the Cowboys to try using him in the slot more often…

With Amari Cooper in Cleveland, Michael Gallup nursing an injury, CeeDee Lamb being moved outside, and some questions with young players who are not fully proven, there are questions in the passing game. Pollard could be to the Cowboys like Deebo Samuel is to the 49ers. By that I mean Pollard would be used both as a receiver and a running back to create explosive plays on an offense with speed questions.

Tony Pollard is set for higher usage in 2022, but it may not be running back for the Dallas Cowboys.

One thing we know about Pollard is that he gains yards when given the chance. While Pollard isn’t the run between the tackles thumper, Pollard is still elite in yards after contact and excels when given space. One of the best ways the Cowboys can get Pollard into space is kicking him in the slot or motioning him out of the backfield. While they will have to use some scheme to help create the space, there is some hope Kellen Moore can produce.

With Gallup likely out for the first few games, and James Washington nursing an injury currently, there could be a reliance on Simi Fehoko, a second-year player, and rookie Jalen Tolbert. Gallup being out should draw more attention to Lamb, thus making some inexperienced players forced to be the focal point.

Enter Pollard, who knows this offense, has trust with Dak Prescott, and adds explosive plays that teams will have to account for.

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What will be interesting to watch as the season continues is if they keep Pollard’s usage up once Gallup and Washington are 100%, or if his useage drops once the veterans are back Fehoko and Tolbert develop.

I believe that if Pollard is effective, then keep using him, don’t fall back into the stale offense we saw toward the end of last season. There are questions about this passing offense, and the news about Pollard helps. But Pollard needs more touches one way or the other.