Optimism was hard to find among Dallas Cowboys fans this week after the team squeaked out a win over the lowly Houston Texans. One thing that is sure to cheer up the Dallas faithful is recognizing Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard’s dominance this season.
The tandem has been a force in the NFL since the Cowboys drafted Pollard in 2019. As each season has come and gone, Elliott and Pollard have gotten better and better, and this season has been no different.
The best RB duo in the NFL
In the preseason, HowBoutThem.com ranked the league’s best 1-2 punches at RB. We slotted Zeke and Pollard as the third-best, but they’ve proved us wrong and taken the top spot.
Pollard’s 12 total touchdowns is the fourth-most in football, and Elliott’s nine touchdowns is ninth. The Cowboys are the only team with two players listed in the top 10.
Speaking of touchdowns, Pollard has scored more this year than in his first three seasons combined (10 touchdowns). He’s also rushed for a career-high 894 yards, and still has four games left to play.
Pollard’s usage has increased in recent weeks, which has provided a major boost to Dallas’ offense. In the last six games, Pollard has scored twice or more four times.
Elliott’s scoring production is on pace to make Cowboys history, though he’s still got a ways to go. Zeke found the endzone in Week 14 vs. the Texans, marking his sixth-straight game with a touchdown. That’s the longest streak by a Cowboys player since Emmitt Smith scored in 11 consecutive games in 1995.
While Zeke isn’t the same player we saw a few seasons ago, he’s carved out a spot as one of the best short-yardage backs in the NFL.
Enjoy it while you can
Unfortunately, this article won’t end on a positive note.
This is likely the last season we’ll see Elliott and Pollard tear up opposing defenses together. With Pollard being drafted in the fourth round, he’s been severely underpaid for his production in the past four seasons. This season, that’s only amplified as Pollard accounts for just a $1.1 million cap hit, but has the 10th-most rushing yards and the sixth-most touchdowns.
Jerry Jones will have some tough choices to make this offseason. He can either let Pollard walk in free agency, or cut Elliott and use the money he’d save to pay Pollard.
Let’s not forget, the reason the Cowboys are handcuffed financially is due to the six-year, $90 million deal Elliott is on. Giving huge deals to RBs is risky because it’s one of the most punishing positions in football, and most don’t have lengthy careers.
With just one more season of the Zeke-Pollard duo, it’s more crucial than ever for the Cowboys to capitalize and make the most out of this season.