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Mailbag: Too Much Down Time? Pollard & Kamara? 


What is the reason for the large amount of time off between minicamp and training camp? Why not have this time off before OTAs? Seems like a waste of the OTAs/minicamp to now take off a month and a half before training camp. — KYLE LEINEN / DES MOINES, IA

David: These guys might make a lot of money, but they're still entitled to some sort of downtime. In the modern era, when football is a 24/7 job, most of these guys have been working consistently since February. Not only do they deserve a chance to unplug, but it's also smart to give them a little bit of time where they aren't wearing out their legs, or else they'd never make it through the 25-week grind of training camp, the regular season and then hopefully the postseason. I promise you, the vast majority of them will be back to work long before the team plane leaves for camp. But a little bit of R&R isn't a bad thing.

Nick: I've never run a marathon, but I would imagine most runners aren't going out running a ton the night before. It's no different here. Football teams are about to have a marathon type of season so this is the perfect time for them to relax, maybe spend time with family. And don't forget the coaches, too. There has to be some downtime because come July 25, it's about to be a grueling 4-5 months, and you hope it's longer.

Could the Dallas Cowboys utilize Tony Pollard in a similar way that the New Orleans Saints have utilized Alvin Kamara? Does he have the talent and the profile to be similar to Kamara? — MARTY MONFORTE / ENDICOTT, NY

David: It's ironic, because Stephen Jones compared Pollard to Alvin Kamara the week he was drafted. I'm not ready to say Pollard is quite that good, because I think Kamara is one of the 2-3 best backs in the league. But I certainly think he's got the skillset to contribute more as a runner and as a receiver. For me, it's a lot less about how good Tony is and a lot more about whether the coaching staff can carve out a larger role for him. We know he has the skill, but that hasn't always translated to more touches in the past.

Nick: I think people often compare these two because Kamara is short. But they don't exactly look the same to me, at all. Kamara is very compact, low to the ground, and has a strong lower-body. He is more of an every-down back than Pollard and probably a more complete back. And maybe I don't watch the Saints play much but I can't recall seeing Kamara lined up wide. I think the Cowboys are going to have to take bits and pieces of what the 49ers do with Deebo and maybe Ty Montgomery with the Packers when McCarthy was there. Pollard is still a running back but there has to be some creative ways to get him the ball. To me, that's one of the biggest things Kellen Moore has to figure out this offseason.

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