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Mailbag: Using Two Veteran RBs the Right Answer?


There has been a lot of talk about bringing back both Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott if the money can be worked out. Even if it can, is that still the right move? In today's NFL, should a team rely heavily on two "older" running backs who already have their share of wear and tear? Or is it better to maybe have at least one set of fresh legs? – Daryl Mitchell/Houston, TX

Patrik: If it's not broken, why try to fix it? Assuming the Cowboys can get the financial component worked out with Elliott, this is a tandem that has proven it can be the most punishing/electric in the league entering 2023, and since injury is also a thing, having Malik Davis waiting in the wings as insurance makes things that much more robust at the position in Dallas. The alternative would be to be without Elliott and lean heavily on Davis, but what if Davis either doesn't take the next step or gets injured? At that point, you're really in dire straits and probably hoping for another young back to be able to step in and quickly make an impact with Pollard, though if it's Pollard that gets injured — in a situation without Elliott — then it's Davis and an unknown guy? No thanks. Elliott and Pollard are proven as individuals at the highest level of football and as a tandem, so that's my preference over all. With so many other positions to worry about, I'd love it if RB wasn't one of them.

Mickey: Guess we must definite what "older" means. Tony Pollard will turn all of 26 the last day in April. Ezekiel Elliott turns 28 in July. Not sure that defines older. And when it comes to Pollard, there is not a lot of wear and tear on those tires. In fact, Pollard has averaged just 173 touches over his four seasons, and that includes 63 kickoff returns. Consider this: The Cowboys running attack has finished in the Top 10 three of the past four years, as high as fifth in 2019 and those two guys have been a part of the NFL's top ranked offense in 2019 and 2021.Nothing wrong with is adding a young back, and remember, rookie Malik Davis wasn't all that bad when getting his opportunities, averaging 4.2 yards on his 38 carries. Nothing wrong with running this tandem back again as long as the Cowboys can make Zeke's base salary work.

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