INGLEWOOD, California – Another week, another contest that saw the Dallas Cowboys wisely lean heavily on the abilities of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard as Cooper Rush and the team's passing attack struggled to find consistency.
Ultimately, it was the defense and special teams that again carried the day, but Pollard's explosive 57-yard touchdown complemented the grinding run style of Elliott to physically exhaust Aaron Donald and the Rams defense.
The tandem combined to produce 164 rushing yards and a touchdown to help stabilize the offensive game when Rush and the wideouts needed it most, mostly because it also kept Donald and others from pinning their ears back - Donald having registered two first half sacks against rookie left tackle Tyler Smith before being unable to locate a third.
"Zeke and TP did what we know they can do," said Dak Prescott, who continues to rehab from a fractured thumb that held him out of this contest as well. "And honestly, it's on the backs of the offensive line, just helping them knock at the door with two and three yards [per gain] and boom, a big one breaks. It's just a credit to this team.
"… Today it was the run game. It was impressive to see the offensive line. It was awesome."
No other defensive lineman for the Rams registered a sack on Sunday, and the ability of Smith and a young offensive line - Zack Martin notwithstanding - to stay focused after a rough start en route to carving out passing lanes for Elliott and Pollard was nothing short of impressive, much to Prescott's point.
"O-line did their job - opened a big lane for me," said Pollard after the game. "I exploded through it. Had receivers downfield blocking with me and I made it into the end zone."
Additionally, to see Pollard still display his telltale explosiveness after missing practice on Friday due to illness truly showed the grit this team possesses.
"[The illness] kind of had me a little more fatigued than normal," said Pollard. "I was a little quicker in getting fatigued out there. But we did a get job making sure I was ready and just had a good game."
Pollard credits the Cowboys offensive line and the receivers for his big run, though.
"It just shows the tenacity that those guys have upfront," he said. "That's how they practice, day in and day out. Just being physical and being a dominant force for us, it's paying off. … The offensive line gets going, the receivers get going and hyped up off of that - it feeds into the whole tone.
" … I feel like we're going job of playing our brand of football - executing and not making a lot of mistakes and making it hard for the other team."
Pollard himself finished with 86 rushing yards and a touchdown, leading some to label it his definitive "flu game" - a nod to what Michael Jordan was able to achieve in yesteryear in a stellar performance during a critical playoff matchup against the Utah Jazz.
But was it?
"Somewhat," said Pollard while wearing a massive ear-to-ear grin. "Somewhat".