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Mailbag: Is Pollard Too Good To Return Kicks?


It seems too risky to me to keep Tony Pollard as our primary kick returner. Why risk injuring him on kickoffs which have a low probability resulting in a big return? We have a formidable 1-2 punch with him and Zeke. I say stick the 4th or 5th wide receiver back there. What do you guys think? — GEORGE VUKAZICH / SAN GABRIEL, CA

David: Scared money don't make money, in my opinion. Tony Pollard has some serious juice, as we've seen over the last two years. He's also not the clear-cut No. 1 running back, so I think the Cowboys are smart for trying to find him touches as many ways as possible. You're right that the odds of a big return are not favorable, but I think the odds get better with a more explosive player returning the kick. It's the same reason I'm not opposed to letting CeeDee Lamb return punts. Give your playmakers are many opportunities to touch the ball as possible.

Rob: I agree that Tony Pollard adds a valuable dimension to the offense, but he played 21 snaps against the Chargers. To me, that's not enough to say he shouldn't handle kickoff returns. The Cowboys aren't concerned about putting CeeDee Lamb on punt returns, so the same thought process should apply to Pollard, in my opinion.

Are we going to be seeing Randy Gregory moving over to D-Law's side while he is inured, or do you think he is going to stay on his side? — FRANK B. / JERSEY CITY, NJ

David: Purely a guess on my part, but Randy has played the vast majority of his career on the right side and seems to be most comfortable there. Maybe he moves around a bit, but my hunch is that Randy would primarily play on the right side, and they can use a mix of Tarell Basham and Dorance Armstrong. I didn't forget about Micah Parsons. My guess is he can flip around to both sides depending on how the coaches feel about a given matchup.

Rob: My guess is for the most part, Randy Gregory stays on the right side where he's been the most comfortable and productive, and the Cowboys continue a rotation on the left side while DeMarcus Lawrence is out. Dorance Armstrong is dealing with an ankle injury this week, so we'll see if he's available to play against Philly. Micah Parsons played quite a bit on the left against LA, along with Tarell Basham. Gregory's expected return this week is significant beyond just the pass rush. He might be the best run defender at defensive end when Lawrence is not in the lineup.

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