With free agency looming, roster turnover isn't far away. However, a significant portion of the 2020 roster is already in place. In the coming weeks, DallasCowboys.com will feature players who are currently under contract for next season, analyzing their past season and their future prospects.
Today, we continue the series with running back Tony Pollard:
What's Been Good:
The fourth-round rookie showed the kind of elusiveness as a runner that had fans anticipating when his next carry might come. Pollard's opportunities were limited as the backup, but he had two games in particular that had everyone from fans to media clamoring about his potential. Against Miami in Week 3, he turned 13 carries into 103 yards and a touchdown. In a Week 15 win over the Rams, he received 12 carries and produced 131 yards and a touchdown.
What's Been Bad:
There's really nothing negative to say about Pollard's rookie season, except for the fact that there was no solution to his limited opportunities and all signs point toward that putting a ceiling on his production going forward. The Cowboys have an enormous amount of money tied up in Ezekiel Elliott, and assuming Dak Prescott returns to the team as a franchise quarterback, the offense may continue to become more pass heavy. Pollard will likely have to continue to make a lot out of a little bit.
Pollard's development as an offensive difference-maker may depend on how much creative flair Mike McCarthy brings to offense. The new head coach has a history of trying things that Jason Garrett mostly avoided. For example, McCarthy used Randall Cobb in the backfield sporadically when the two were in Green Bay together. Ideally, McCarthy is able to figure out how to take advantage of two talented running backs. Another perspective to keep in mind is that the Cowboys have invested in Elliott for the long term and so rather than squeeze as much out of him as possible, they would be wise to make sure he stays healthy and fresh by giving additional carries to Pollard.