Presented by

Mailbag: Can Tony Pollard Play In The Slot?


I've seen a lot of mock drafts where the cowboys address the need for a slot WR, or a receiver who can really make something happen after the ball is in their hands. Do you think moving Pollard to that position and drafting a RB in the late rounds can ultimately put better players on the field more often? Pollard seems to have a lot of potential. — JOSEPH SEVILLA / MORENO VALLEY, CA

David: I've seen this suggested a few times, and I can't say I like it. Tony Pollard is a damn good running back, and he showed us that on multiple occasions last year. I love the idea of having him as a complement and an insurance policy for Ezekiel Elliott. On top of that, you said it yourself: this draft class is loaded with good receivers. Why would you want to move Pollard into a less natural position and then draft a lesser running back, when you could simply address the need by drafting a receiver who is ready to contribute right away?

Jonny: I'd love to see Pollard on the field more, and I'd be all for getting him more involved in the passing game, but I don't know about converting him to a slot receiver. He's a dynamic runner, and ultimately he may have to just settle for whatever opportunities he can get when Zeke isn't on the field. It's worth noting that Zeke is in Dallas for the long haul, so protecting his workload is an investment. That said, if Mike McCarthy thinks he can get creative and find ways for both of them to be on the field at the same time, I'd be excited to see what that might look like.

What is the difference between an elite quarterback and a good quarterback? Does it come down to having a signature win like a Super Bowl win? What must Dak Prescott do to move from a good quarterback to an elite quarterback? Are their specific skills that he must develop, or does he simply need to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a Super Bowl win? — MARTY MONFORTE/ENDICOTT, NY

David: If I could become the tzar of football for a day, the first thing I'd do is outlaw the word "elite" from football conversations. It's a completely subjective, borderline meaningless word that people throw around to win arguments without using facts. The truth of the matter is that quarterbacks from all over the spectrum have helped their teams win Super Bowls — and for a variety of different reasons. For all his talent and accolades, Aaron Rodgers has as many Super Bowl wins as Joe Flacco. Peyton Manning has the same number of championship rings as his little brother, and I think we'd all agree that Peyton was the much better player than Eli. Dak is a top-tier NFL quarterback, and all evidence indicates that his arrow is still pointing upward. Who on Earth can say if he'll actually deliver the championship Cowboys fans have been waiting for, but he's done enough to deserve a new contract in my opinion.

Jonny: Honestly, there are a lot of hard rules to the game of football, but anybody with a definitive list of who is or isn't "elite" just wants to sound like an expert. The line between "really good" and "elite" is thin. I don't think Patrick Mahomes became elite when he won the Super Bowl. But ultimately quarterbacks are judged by wins. I certainly wouldn't put last season's 8-8 record on Dak, but the best quarterbacks tend to manage to overcome a lot of their teammates' mistakes and pull out wins. That said, many of them acquired that attribute after some tough losses. Dak isn't on Mahomes level, and maybe he never will be. But there aren't many quarterbacks I'd confidently say could be the highest paid player on a Super Bowl team. I think Dak is that guy.

Related Content