DALLAS – The Dallas Cowboys offense will be under the microscope in 2022. Kellen Moore and Mike McCarthy have had success in Dallas, but the Cowboys have yet to sustain a full season of offensive success in the McCarthy tenure.
Granted one of those seasons included Dak Prescott missing the majority of the year. Still, there is too much talent on the side of the ball for it to not be one of the elite units in the NFL.
Dallas has a Pro Bowl-level quarterback in Prescott with a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver in CeeDee Lamb. Zack Martin remains among the best in the league at offensive line. Dalton Schultz enjoyed a breakout season at tight end.
Then, there’s the intriguing backfield. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard provide the Cowboys with a top one-two punch on the ground.
National outlet high on Cowboys backfield.
Bleacher Report NFL writer Alex Ballentine set out on the task to rank the best backfields in the league. With many talented running back groups, different teams have compelling arguments to be near the top of the rankings.
Ballentine ranked the backfield in Dallas at No. 5 in the NFL. That ranks higher than the Denver Broncos at No. 7 and Tennessee Titans at No. 6.
“The Dallas Cowboys might have their depth chart mixed up with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard but that doesn’t take away from the fact this is still one of the league’s most talented backfields,” Ballentine wrote for B/R. “Ezekiel Elliott has been on the decline from an efficiency standpoint, but he’s still a productive back. He was still one of only seven backs to crack 1,000 yards rushing and averaged 4.2 yards per carry.
“What saves the Cowboys ranking is the efficiency that Tony Pollard brings to the table.”
The @dallascowboys offense needs to run through Zeke and Pollard IN THAT ORDER. @EzekielElliott is your thunder, FEED him. @Tp__5 is your big play lightning in a bottle. Its not one or the other, it’s BOTH. The 2-back system elevates the entire offense and takes pressure off Dak.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) June 16, 2022
The Elliott versus Pollard argument on the depth chart has been an on-going debate. Ballentine alludes to that in his writing, and he points how valuable and dynamic of a player Tony Pollard is.
“The third-year back was one of the most efficient backs in the league, recording 1,056 yards from scrimmage and 6.2 yards per touch on the season. Pollard finished only behind Rashaad Penny in the latter category among running backs,” Ballentine wrote. “Pollard was difficult to bring down on first contact, too. He was sixth in the league in yards after contact per carry.”
Dallas is set to get Pollard more involved in the offense next season. His explosiveness and ability to be a factor in the run and receiving game is very intriguing. That would make the Cowboys much more difficult to defend.
The Cowboys still have a top-five backfield in the NFL, even with Ezekiel Elliott coming off his worst season yet in the league. Any kind of bounce back from No. 21 in 2022 would be huge.
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