“We have to keep it up all year”

Tony Pollard wasn’t just great for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. He also had more yards and points than the team he faced, the Minnesota Vikings.

The Cowboys dominated at every stage of their 40-3 win over the Vikings, who came into the game with an 8-1 record. Dak Prescott threw for 276 yards with just three misses, Brett Maher was 4-of-4 in field goals (including three of 50-plus), and Dallas’ defense choked the Vikings.

“We knew we had to react after last week,” Prescott said. “If we can continue to do this, this team can be special.”

But Pollard’s biggest game of the season must not be overlooked in what may be a special season. He totaled 189 yards from scrimmage and caught two TD passes from 30 and 68 yards without being touched by a Vikings defenseman after each catch.

About the 68-yarder who blew up the game early in the third quarter, Pollard told NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, “Yeah, that’s the little game we did this week. We kind of worked on it and we just called it the right time, and it hit us big.”

Starter Ezekiel Elliott ran two points in the game and shot one from Pollard after doing all the work to get the Cowboys close to the end zone, collecting more than half of Dallas’ yards on his first TD drive of the game. Pollard followed that possession with an 18-yard run with a 20-yard run in the following game.

Pollard would end up with 80 rush yards on 15 carries. Elliott totaled 42 yards with the same number of carries.

Prior to Week 10, Pollard had never touched the ball 20 times in a game or run it more than 14 times. In the last two games, he has surpassed both marks in both games.

There has been a lively debate in Cowboys circles in recent years. Should Pollard start over Elliott (and get the bulk of the carries)? Some say absolutely yes. The Cowboys have countered that they both love what they do and that Pollard has a physical limit to what he can do.

But that kind of thing went out the window in the loss to Green Bay last week when Elliott was injured. Pollard ran the ball 22 times for 115 yards and a TD, and also caught three passes. And even with Elliott back this week, Pollard still had 21 touches to Ellott’s 16. Pollard’s six catches tied his career high and his 109 receiving yards surpassed his previous high (63).

Prescott seems to enjoy having both in the backfield.

“Yes, they are dynamic,” Prescott said. “Of course, when you have both of them out there, the defense doesn’t know what to expect. Only for TP to have two touchdowns from the backfield and Zeke to have a few rushes. It’s just impressive. These two guys can do whatever you ask them to do. They have no ego and they are a great duo. We are blessed.”

Pollard also agrees with the current order to share the ball with Elliott.

“We have to do that year-round,” Pollard said. “Just to keep us fresh in the game, you know, rotate. Just let the defense guess. Just keep them busy.”

Things will be quick for the Cowboys hosting the New York Giants on Thanksgiving. Pollard isn’t worried about being worn down for Thursday’s game.

“It’s not really difficult,” he said. “[You’re] play Thanksgiving. National TV. Everyone’s going to be watching, so you really need to keep calm until now.”

If Pollard has another big game on Thursday, the excuses for not getting him the ball more often could be all but gone.


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