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Mailbag: Why Pollard Didn't Get More Touches?


Tony Pollard only had six touches on offense in the playoff loss to San Francisco (four runs, two targets in the passing game). Why was he used so little in a game where the offense definitely could have used a spark? RANDY CHILDS / NORTH GRAFTON, MA

Nick: I don't have a great answer for that. Obviously, Pollard didn't do a lot with those four touches, but as we saw in the New Orleans game, if you keep giving him the ball, sooner or later he can break it for a big play. But overall, the offense just never got in any rhythm. I'm sure there were a handful of players who thought they could've gotten more touches on Sunday. Pollard is a weapon but he can help himself by being a little more well-rounded in the passing game, both as a receiver and blocker. I think it's the OC's job this offseason to figure out a way to get him even more involved this year, even if that means playing him alongside Zeke.

Rob: It's a good question, and I don't know for sure why, other than it's probably due in part to Ezekiel Elliott's skills as a pass blocker. Even then, we've seen some two-back sets with Elliott and Pollard in previous games, so why not that element? Definitely credit to Zeke for playing through his PCL injury for the vast majority of the season, and he did seem more explosive late in the year. But Pollard's workload this season (roughly 30% of the snaps, 130 carries) was probably less than I expected, especially because Elliott dealt with that injury since Week 4.

With Kellen Moore being interviewed for potential coaching vacancies, is there anyone within the current coaching staff that you feel would be elevated to take over the play-calling or do you see the Cowboys looking outside of the organization? — BRIAN SELWIN / HICKSVILLE, NY

Nick: I could see them staying within if that happens. The most likely scenario would by QB coach Doug Nussmeier, who has a good relationship with Dak. And that's something McCarthy said on Wednesday, stating that whoever calls the plays has to be able to keep the foundation that is in place with Dak. But, I'm sure there could be some coaches on the outside that might be able to rejuvenate this offense, if that is what is needed.

Rob: Mike McCarthy didn't go into specifics when asked that question Monday but said he's prepared to adjust if Moore and/or Dan Quinn take a head coaching job elsewhere. On offense, quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier comes to mind first as an in-house replacement if Moore leaves. He called plays in the preseason finale against Jacksonville and has been an OC for several college programs in the past, including Alabama under Nick Saban.

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