Mike McCarthy knew he was showing his age, but there was no better way to describe the leadership style of his Pro Bowl running back.
McCarthy fielded questions on Wednesday during the second day of mandatory minicamp, and the Dallas Cowboys coach went deep into the vault of TV commercials from the 1970s to find an apt comparison for Tony Pollard.
“I’ll tell you what,” McCarthy said. “He’s a little like E.F. Hutton — showing my age here — the commercial.”
Put simply, when Pollard talks in the meeting room or on the field, his teammates are listening, particularly the younger running backs.
“Now watching him assert himself more, he has a commanding presence and I think he’s done an excellent job with the younger players,” said McCarthy. “You could see how they look up to him.”
Pollard sets an example for the younger players with his actions as well. The former 2019 fourth-rounder is now the lead back in Dallas’ offense with the departure of running back Ezekiel Elliott. Pollard will be quarterback Dak Prescott’s new pass protector.
Said McCarthy: “Tony always asks excellent questions because we’re doing some things differently protection wise, a little different as far as our coursework and things in the run game. And Tony has a really good feel of how things fit together, and he’s a great, great example for our young players.”
Pollard generated 1,378 scrimmage yards and 12 total touchdowns en route to his first career Pro Bowl selection last season. As long as the former Memphis product is keeping up his end of the bargain production wise while setting a good example for the younger backs, the Cowboys offense should be able to handle the loss of Elliott.