Rich Barnes/Getty ImagesTony Pollard is aware of his relatively disappointing season as the Dallas Cowboys’ workhorse running back.
“I thought I would probably have a better year than I am now,” Pollard said, per Nick Harris of the team’s official website. “Where we are as far as playoffs and rankings, I couldn’t complain with everything in front of us. I would say just trying to get more at-bats at the plate. Get more repetition for the o-line and get a feel for how the defense is playing things and getting into a rhythm.”
The 26-year-old is averaging a career-low 4.0 yards per rush in 2023.
In 16 starts, Pollard has amassed just 935 yards on 235 carries while finding the end zone five times. He’s also recorded 295 receiving yards. Many expected the former fourth-round pick to thrive in an increased role after the offseason departure of Ezekiel Elliot. Instead, Pollard hasn’t rushed for more than 100 yards in a game since Week 3.
While sharing carries in the backfield with Elliot in 2022, Pollard still racked up 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground while picking up 371 more yards as a receiver. He also made a Pro Bowl appearance.
NFL @NFLTONY POLLARD HOUSE CALL 🏠
📺: #DALvsLAR on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/dCuo7DIlNd pic.twitter.com/kMM8UZqREd
“I hold myself to a higher standard,” Pollard said, per Harris. “I try to be my hardest critic and my hardest judge before anybody else can. So I’m always hard on myself.”
The Cowboys have still been extremely successful this season despite owning the league’s 14th-ranked rushing attack, narrowly holding the top spot in the NFC East with a record of 11-5. While Pollard acknowledged his substandard production, he’s still optimistic that one big performance can turn his season around as the playoffs draw closer.
“I would say you’re pretty much what you are,” Pollard said. “At this point, it’s just about executing and everybody getting on the same page. It’s one game at a time, so one game can definitely get everything going.”
His final chance to get going in the regular season will come on Sunday, when the Cowboys face off against the Washington Commanders. He’ll have a shot to break out, as the Commanders own the 25th-ranked run defense in the NFL.