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Zeke, Pollard Tandem Will Be 'Tough On Defenses'


ARLINGTON, Texas – Ezekiel Elliott might have missed all of training camp and preseason, but he saw enough from Tony Pollard this past spring to know the rookie brings serious "juice" to the running game.

Elliott posted a season-high 125 rushing yards in Sunday's 31-6 win over the Miami Dolphins, knocking off any remaining rust since his contract holdout ended with a six-year, $90 million extension three weeks ago.

And Pollard, the Cowboys' fourth-round draft pick, added 103 rushing yards and his first career touchdown to seal the team's first 3-0 start since 2008.

Together, they're the first Cowboys running back tandem in 21 years – and the fourth ever – to each reach the 100-yard mark in the same game.

They're just getting started.

"I knew ever since T.P. got here that he had juice, that he could run, that he could play ball," said Elliott, whose 289 rushing yards are his highest three-game total to start a season. "He came out here and had a great game today. I'm proud of him. He went out there and did his thing."

Elliott logged more than 300 carries in two of his first three NFL seasons. He likely would have topped 300 in 2017 if not for a six-game suspension.

He remains the engine for the Cowboys' balanced offensive attack. But he's excited to have the 22-year-old Pollard as part of the run game.

"It's great," said Elliott, standing next to the rookie during their dual post-game interview session. "If I'm tired or a little banged up or something, I'll come out, he'll come in and he's gashing them. It's got to be tough on defenses.

"I think it's definitely very helpful just because we're going to be fresh when you have two guys that can go and that load gets divided in two. So it's not me getting 30-35 touches a game anymore. It's us taking care of it together. It's going to definitely pay off."

Elliott also gave credit to the Cowboys' offensive line for creating running lanes throughout the game.

"They made it easy for us today," he said.

Pollard, part of a two-back rotation at Memphis, took virtually all the first-team training camp reps for the Cowboys in July and August. The Cowboys always envisioned him as a capable complement to Elliott because of his versatility. He added three catches for 25 yards against the Dolphins, including an 8-yard reception at the end of the first quarter with Elliott also in the game.

Pollard's 16-yard touchdown run on the left side sealed the Cowboys' 25-point win with 3:50 left in the game.

"It feels like my third, but that was my first one," said Pollard, who had a touchdown run wiped out by a holding penalty in Week 2 against Washington. "It was a great feeling getting in the end zone, not seeing any flags."

Elliott looks forward to helping Pollard grow week to week.

"The way I look at it is, every day when I go to practice I'm not only getting myself better but I'm helping this guy get better too," he said, standing next to Pollard. "I owe it to this team, I owe it to Tony, I owe it to the game just to make sure he progresses along and gets better every week."

The run game will only continue to benefit.