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Mailbag: Pollard In The Passing Game; FB Help?


I am a little surprised the Cowboys haven't tried getting Tony Pollard more involved in the passing game, especially with the injuries to our offensive line. I know our wide receiver corps is very dangerous and thought maybe using that to our advantage with teams worrying about them, Pollard could do a lot of damage underneath and with screens helping slow down the pass rush and crashing the line on run plays. What are your thoughts about this? - ERIC MOBERG / BREWSTER, MA

David: I don't disagree. We know Pollard has solid hands, because he used them a fair amount in college, catching 104 passes during his career at Memphis. He's sitting on just 15 receptions so far this season. I had high hopes that Pollard would see more usage this season, but it just hasn't been the case. I understand that the coaches probably would like to get Ezekiel Elliott on a roll, but Pollard has a skill set that isn't being utilized right now.

Jonny: You ever watch a Monday Night Football game because you have exactly one fantasy player playing in it? Feels like there is so much potential for him to rack up stats. But then the quarterback throws an incomplete pass. Then he's sacked. Next thing you know, two and a half quarters have passed and they haven't done any of the cool plays you had envisioned. I think that's how Cowboys fans feel watching Pollard. Dallas has plays designed for him, and we've seen them here and there, but ultimately he's a valued backup running back so the game situation takes away some of the opportunities we might expect from him coming in. Be patient, though. I think you'll see him cross the goal line again.

Do you think the Cowboys and the run game miss having a true fullback on the roster? - JOEY ARNEL SAYSON / SANTA MONICA, CA

David: No, I don't. For starters, they didn't really use Jamize Olawale as a battering ram, anyway. That just wasn't his game. Secondly, this sport has become so much more about speed and space than power. I think the Cowboys miss having offensive linemen who can block the opposing front properly, and they miss having a quarterback who can spread the ball around to all his wide receivers – thereby forcing the defense to spread out and open up space for running backs. It also wouldn't hurt if the star running back had better ball security, which would allow the offense to sustain longer drives. I think all of that is more important than using a fullback.

Jonny: I mean, not really. I think they miss having a reliable defense and a franchise quarterback. You hear the term "establish the run" a lot, but really the run game is so effective when a good running back and a good offensive line are working with a 10-point lead. That's when it can just demoralize an opposing defense. 10-point leads haven't exactly been a 2020 thing for the Cowboys. I don't think a fullback is stopping Zeke from thriving.

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