It’s about time…The Dallas Cowboys handed the keys over to Tony Pollard

I was worried there for a moment. On the Dallas Cowboys’ first possession – with a short field – the Cowboys called four straight plays for Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke returned from a knee injury and it appeared as though Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore was intent on giving Elliott the ball more than Tony Pollard. Ultimately, the first possession resulted in a field goal and an early Cowboys lead.

From there on out, the Dallas Cowboys did something I never thought I’d see them do: they handed the keys of the offense to Tony Pollard. TP20 led the team in both rushing yards (80) and receiving yards (109!). Pollard also scored two touchdowns in Dallas’ 40-3 rout over the Minnesota Vikings, who had been undefeated at home.

The Cowboys made sure Zeke was also fed. He rushed 15 times for 42 yards and scored two touchdowns from a yard out – something he excels at.  Elliott also made a reception for five yards.

All season long, owner Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy repeated the phrase: “The Cowboys offense goes as Zeke goes.” On Sunday, that motto was thrown out the window. Kellen Moore finally relied on the team’s most dynamic offensive player in Pollard.

I’m not sure why it took so long for the Cowboys to finally make this decision. Pollard entered the game leading all NFL running backs in yards per carry. After the game, Coach McCarthy called having two quality backs a blessing – and that “the running game was a priority.”

The Cowboys called 40 rushing plays compared to 30 passing plays Sunday. That’s 16 fewer passing attempts compared to what Dak Prescott was asked to do in last week’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. Dallas found an identity earlier in the season after Dak suffered an injury: Run the ball + Attack the quarterback. For some reason, they shied away from that identity in recent weeks.
The Cowboys played a perfect game Sunday in all three phases of the game: Offense, Defense and Special teams. They will keep winning – and keep pace with the Philadelphia Eagles – if they commit themselves to being a run first offense. It all starts with Pollard, not Elliott.
Last week, I said this game would show the world whether this Cowboys team is Super Bowl material. I predicted a victory, but never expected a beat down like this!

The Dallas Cowboys have no more excuses. We see the potential. We see the super high ceiling. Just keep feeding Tony Pollard. And, keep Zeke ready for that one yard plunge!

What do you think of the Dallas Cowboys’ big win over the Minnesota Vikings? Let Michael know on Twitter @MikeESPNSA. You can listen to him on “Halftime with Mike Jimenez,” weekdays from Noon to 2 p.m.

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