Cowboys RB Tony Pollard named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

After working largely in Ezekiel Elliott’s shadow for the majority of his three-plus seasons as a Dallas Cowboy, Tony Pollard is finally getting his fair share of the spotlight.

Pollard was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for his standout performance in Week 11’s dominating win over the Vikings. He rushed for 80 yards on just 15 carries and added another 109 yards and two explosive touchdowns on six receptions to earn his first weekly honor since being drafted in the fourth round out of Memphis back in 2019.

Not bad for a guy who got “demoted” after being the team’s starter in the previous two games.

Pollard took the bulk of the backfield snaps in Weeks 8 and 10, with Elliott nursing a hyperextended knee. In those contests, he tied a new career high in rushing yards, set a new personal best in rushing attempts, and notched his first three-touchdown game (something not even Elliott has done).

Yet it was Elliott, leg brace and all, who was on the field for the offense’s opening snap this past Sunday in Minnesota.

Pollard and Elliott maintain that neither cares who “starts,” because they know they provide a one-two punch that few opponents know how to counter.

Both got 15 rushing attempts in Week 11.

“We feel like as long as we can keep each other in and out, fresh on the field, keeping the defenses guessing and not knowing what to prepare for,” Pollard said this week. “We feel like we have the advantage.”

Pollard is currently 11th in the league with 701 rushing yards but has the second-highest yards-per-carry average (5.9) of any running back with over 100 carries on the year. Factor in his receiving yards, and his per-touch average goes up to 6.8. That’s good enough for 13th place in the NFL in a category where nine of the top 10 are big-play wide receivers.

It’s the first weekly award for a Cowboys offensive player on the season; Micah Parsons took defensive honors after his Week 5 outing versus the Rams.

As noted by the team website, perhaps more surprising than Pollard’s win is that someone other Brett Maher took home the Special Teams Player of the Week trophy. Three of Maher’s four field goals in Dallas’s 40-3 rout came from 50 yards or farther, and he actually hit his 60-yarder twice, after officials blew a late whistle to initiate a replay review.

Pollard will look to keep his hot streak going Thursday against a 7-3 Giants team that’s giving up an average of 5.3 yards per carry (second-worst in the league) and is currently decimated by injuries.

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Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire