After a third straight 12-5 season, the Dallas Cowboys are ready for another NFL playoff run. The quest for Super Bowl LVII begins on Super Wild Card Weekend in the form of a showdown with the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium on Sunday.
A strong regular season showing is great, but it doesn't mean anything if the Cowboys don't go on a deep playoff run. It's been 28 years since America's Team last hoisted the Lombardi Trophy and the fanbase is hungry for a title run, meaning every player must step up to help end the drought — especially with those who struggled to contribute consistently.
With that in mind, here are three Cowboys who find themselves on thin ice in the playoffs.
3 Cowboys on Thin Ice in Playoffs
1. Tony Pollard, RB
When the Cowboys released last March, Tony Pollard was given the keys to the backfield. Cowboys fans were excited to see what the former Memphis Tiger could do as the lead running back after racking up 1,378 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns in 16 games with only four starts in 2022.
Unfortunately, Pollard wasn't as effective as he was last season. While his 1,316 scrimmage yards and six TDs are far from the worst output of his career, both numbers were down from last year's totals despite his seeing 75 more touches in 2023. As a result, both his yards per carry (4.0) and reception (5.7) were down drastically from his 2022 averages (5.2 and 9.5, respectively).
Pollard's knack for being a streaky player also frustrated Dallas fans this season. After scoring two TDs in an opening-week win over the New York Giants, the 26-year-old went eight straight games without finding the end zone. He did score in three consecutive outings after that, only to go on another four-game TD drought that ended with a Week 18 score.
Now that Pollard is set to hit free agency in the offseason, he needs to step up with a strong playoff run. The Cowboys can't afford another disappearing act.
If he can't find a way to contribute, it could be argued that Pollard just isn't suited to be an RB1 and could be shown the door out of the Lone Star State.