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I’d like to preface this piece by clearing up a simple fact – I am not an NFL coach. I have never played a down of tackle football (I was an elite two-hand touch QB in 2nd grade though), I don’t know much about offensive schemes, reading a defense, or anything else related to putting the best guys on the field. All of my football knowledge comes from watching the game since I was a kid, playing fantasy football, playing in NFL pools, and my yearly obsession with rebuilding the Browns into a Super Bowl champion in the latest Madden. All of that being said, Tony Pollard is currently a better running back than Ezekiel Elliot. I know it, you know it, so why doesn’t Jerry Jones know it?
In case you missed it, and I’m sure you didn’t, Tony Pollard erupted in a spot start for the Cowboys on Sunday for 15 touches, 147 total yards, and 3 (three) touchdowns.
Pollard has played second fiddle to Zeke since he was drafted by the Cowboys in 2019, and mostly for good reason. We all remember how good Zeke was in his rookie season, and that production continued for most of his career. The past two years, however, Zeke has struggled with injuries, declining explosivness, and lacks the vision he had as a young running back. Him and Pollard have operated as a “thunder and lightning” style duo, but Zeke’s thunder has turned into a quiet murmur, while Pollard shines with every touch. This begs the question, why in the world does Jerry Jones continue to stand by his aging, injury prone running back when he has a coveted weapon ready to take his place? Let’s go over some options.
The most obvious answer would be that Elliot has a gigantic contract. While I’m a firm believer in the “you don’t pay running backs” theory, I can understand why Jones would want his $90 million dollar man on the field. He’d look like an idiot if a fourth-round draft pick usurped his prized star RB, even though it happens every time Pollard touches the ball. You pay the man, he should be playing. At some point, though, Jerry should be able to see that the ‘man’ is no longer the man in Dallas. Maybe it’s tougher to see from his owner’s box? Money is an obvious reason, but we’re not here to give obvious answers to these questions.
We’ve Got A Situation
Jerry Jones isn’t exactly the most upstanding citizen in Texas. With great power (money) comes great responsibility, and responsibility isn’t Jerry’s middle name. I’m sure all of you have seen ‘the photo’ by now. I won’t include it here, but a quick Google should do the trick. This makes me wonder, does Zeke have something incriminating on Jerry Jones? Maybe they went out on the town after the big extension, Zeke’s treat of course, and Elliot made sure his phone was out and recording just in case his performance didn’t live up to the huge deal he just signed? I’d never accuse someone I don’t know of doing something unsavory, but would we really be surprised?
The Whole ‘Football’ Thing
Let’s just go over some highlights of Jerry Jones’ biggest mistakes as the owner of the Cowboys.
- DIdn’t re-sign Emmitt Smith in ‘93
- Let Jimmy Johnson walk
- Hired Wade Phillips
- The Super Bowl ticket fiasco of 2011
- Got absolutely fleeced for Roy Williams
- The whole Greg Hardy situation
- Failed to keep Dez in Dallas
- Stayed loyal to Jason Garrett for WAY too long
Again, I’m no football genius, but maybe this guy just stinks at being an owner. His blind loyalty to Ezekiel Elliot has proven to be costly to the Cowboys on certain occasions over the past season or two, and if it continues, there’s a very good chance he lets Pollard walk and Zeke rides out the rest of his huge contract while underperforming and costing the Cowboys production at the running back position. I’m just hoping Zeke has a video of Jerry Jones falling off a mechanical bull in some shady bar in Dallas, though.