What Tony Pollard’s Numbers Make Clear

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Bobhaze, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. CATCH17

    CATCH17 1st Round Pick

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    Pollard keeps teaching you lessons but you refuse to learn.
  2. plasticman

    plasticman Well-Known Member

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    it does appear as though Pollard has turned a corner and has become a valuable asset. Still. I'm haunted by memories of Marion Barber after the departure of Julius Jones and Bill Parcell's two back system as well as Joseph Randle after DeMarco Murray left.

    I totally agree that Pollard offers another weapon that opponents must contend with and that his contributions this season come at a time when they are needed. He has transcended the role of Zeke's breather and 4th quarter "mop up". However, I wouldn't increase his role to wearing down a defense, he's not that kind of back.

    Kudos to Kellen Moore for utilizing him in exactly the role he can contribute the most.
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  3. 2288doubletrouble

    2288doubletrouble Well-Known Member

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    Too bad Zeke is getting paid like the 2016 version. Zeke is still good but certainly not great and that now makes him way overpaid. That’s a lot of money that could be going to the defense. You can’t make these mistakes in a salary cap league.
  4. Bobhaze

    Bobhaze Moderator

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    I did read it and I appreciate what you are saying. We need both. But I’m also saying Pollard needs more touches. You do t have to agree with that. I just didn’t want to be quoted as saying “Pollard is better”.

    What the numbers do say about big play runs of 20 yards + are pretty clear.
    • Zeke had 30 plays of 20+ yards between 2016-18. Since then, from 2019-the present, which covers 34 games, he has 3.
    • Pollard has had 10 plays of 20 yards + over the last 18 games.
    • Is it sacrilege to say Zeke isn’t as explosive as he used to be? The numbers are clear.
    • Not saying Zeke has no value or that Pollard needs to be the workhouse. But I am saying Pollard needs to continue being used because he’s clearly a more explosive option.
  5. LovinItAll

    LovinItAll Well-Known Member

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    I'm saying that I think having both backs is a good thing. I'm also saying that looking at a stat like 'who has more runs of 20+ yards' can be very misleading.

    Watching the game Sunday, I was left with the same impression as most people: Pollard broke off bigger runs than Zeke and obviously had more yards. Now, I'm not smart enough to disect exactly why that was in real-time. Was it because he's faster to the hole? A better RB? So I went back and watched every run again...twice. I counted which back carried the back to which side, looked at the blocking/running lanes, etc. I've since posted those stats here.

    What was crystal clear was that Pollard had bigger gaps further downfield than Zeke, primarily because he rushed on Martin's side all night while Zeke did not, I'm not saying that's good, bad, or otherwise. It's just a fact. I didn't go back and look at all of Pollard's runs of 20+ over the past two years, which is what it would take before I could comment on that.

    My comment was simply this: Pollard had a statistically better game than Zeke, but it had little to do with Pollard's talent and everything to do with the plays called for each back. I further said that had Zeke run the ball through the same lanes Pollard had, I believe Zeke would've had a monster night.

    As I've said before, I'm a big Pollard fan going back to his college days. He absolutely should be worked into the offense in as many creative ways as possible.

    They obviously have different running styles, but I hate when people say Pollard is faster/quicker than Zeke. He's isn't, especially with Zeke coming in at his rookie playing weight. It would be one thing if Zeke was much older than Tony or had been injured more, but he isn't and hasn't.

    One last point about 'the numbers being clear'. Yes, in a vacuum, you're right. Like Sunday, though, there may be a reason Pollard has more gains of 20+ than just 'he's more explosive'. Again, one would have to look at the actual games and plays to make that determination. I was very surprised at the run side distribution after re-watching Sunday's game, but I'm not complaining. The coaches have a reason for calling the plays they do and they don't share those reasons with me.

    Rushing left of center without Collins was clearly a tougher task than running behind Martin on Sunday. That was Zeke's assignment last weekend. That's all I said, and I think it's an important point that's worth noting, as the result was a big day for Pollard, which I'm completely fine with.
  6. DanA

    DanA Well-Known Member

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    If I was to set season goals for Zeke and Pollard it would be:
    • Zeke: 1,400 yards rushing, 4.5 ypc, 10 TD's, 750 yards receiving, less than 3 fumbles
    • Pollard: 680 yards rushing, 5 ypc, 5 TD's, 800 yards receiving, less than 2 fumbles

    That's an average of 125 all purpose yards per game for Zeke and 85 all purpose yards per game for Pollard. Obviously at the moment Pollard is well ahead of those goals for the season while Zeke is a little ways behind but it's still very early in the season and there are better matchups for Zeke where he will no doubt catch up a bit. If Zeke can achieve this he'd be going a long way towards justifying his contract which right now looks excessive.
  7. JoeKing

    JoeKing Diehard

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    Tony Pollard's numbers in one game don't make clear about anything in any game in the future. We already knew Pollard was capable of doing what he did. Zeke is still the guy.
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  8. OldJarhead

    OldJarhead Well-Known Member

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    I do my best.
  9. RonWashington

    RonWashington Well-Known Member

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  10. RonWashington

    RonWashington Well-Known Member

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    Lincoln Coleman had his moments .
  11. RonWashington

    RonWashington Well-Known Member

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    Pollard too valuable to be returning kicks. How about a Cedric Wilson . If you let the kick go your at the 25 what’s the upside of Pollard getting banged around to get it to the 27 ?
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  12. ArtClink

    ArtClink Well-Known Member

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    One quick question, is this an anti-Zeke thread?
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  13. ArtClink

    ArtClink Well-Known Member

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    But what about bacon on those pork chops?
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  14. gp_cowpolk

    gp_cowpolk Landry Hat

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    That disappears 1st
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  15. buybuydandavis

    buybuydandavis Well-Known Member

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    With Gallup out, the more relevant comparisons are among Pollard/Jarwin/Schultz/Wilson.

    Right now, I'll take Schultz and Pollard as our 4th and 5th skill player pair on run/pass downs. That's just the best combo of 2 of the 4 for run/pass, and I don't think it's close. Both Jarwin and Wilson don't bring much of anything to the table for run plays.
  16. RaZon

    RaZon Benched

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    Poster....remember back in September when we were all POLLARD POLLARD HE'S OUR MAN......haha!!!
    Poster 2.....yeah, funny now isn't it?
    Poster.....always give this stuff some time, we all freaked out. Well Zeke's got that mojo working now, he's running pissed off it's as if somebody said something about his mama.
    Poster 2.....I know, he's found another gear
    Poster....Pollard a nice change of pace however
    Poster 2.....sure!

    FVSTONE Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, someone appears to be talking out of their ***. Zek is a hell of a back and before the season is over he'll show everyone why JJ paid him the big bucks. Also, there isn't a better blocking back in the CFL or NFL!
  18. RonnieT24

    RonnieT24 Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure nobody disagrees with this.. The only real disagreement is whether he would remain as explosive if he had to do the heavy lifting that Zeke is asked to do. Or whether Zeke would be able to exploit tired defenses late in games like he used to if those carries were not going to Pollard? That's really the only question from my point of view. We won't know unless Zeke is down for several games... or if the Cowboys just decide to start Pollard over him.. The disappearance of Zeke's big plays coincided with the introduction of Pollard into the mix .. Since then 90% of Zeke's carries have been between the tackles and 90% of Pollard's have been outside. I'm obviously oversimplifying the numbers but you get the gist.

    By the way.. your count of 20+ yard plays for Zeke is quite simply inaccurate.. I thought it might be but didn't want to dispute it without looking it up.. Here is what I found..


    @ WFT long run of 27
    vs Packers long reception of 27
    vs Bills long run of 30, long reception of 20
    @ CHI long run of 31
    vs Rams long reception of 26
    vs WFT long rush of 33


    vs Cleveland : long run of 24
    @Cincy: long run of 26
    vs Philly long run of 31

    2021 - none yet.

    Now I'm no math major but that looks like a lot more than 3 ... It is not my intent to embarrass anyone but if you're going to post stats like some authority then at least post accurately. I'm going to assume you MEANT to say just since 2020.. and no one would argue that he had a miserable 2020.. like a lot of us did. However the attempt to claim that he's on this two year drought of 20+ yard plays will not be accepted blindly. I didn't even include another dozen 19 yard plays that I found along the way..

    Here's the bottom line.. As I have been saying for at least two years, this offense that Moore runs is better suited to Pollard's running style than it is Zeke's. If the Cowboys knew they were headed in this direction they never should have re-signed Zeke. To this point Pollard has shown flashes of being a good back. But as I have repeatedly said, as long as he comes in as the change up back and averages no better ypc than the starter he is not doing his job. When the table has been set for him he needs to take advantage. He did that Sunday.. I hope he continues to do it because Moore has shown that he's not going to do much more with Zeke than run him up the middle. He will sprinkle in one or two wide plays a game maybe as tendency busters but the lion share of his runs are between the tackles. As such he's just not going to ever get near 5.0 ypc again. It doesn't work that way. Likewise Pollard's overall average should always be higher for much the same reasons that have been talked about ad nauseum. Most of his runs are outside, and many are after Zeke has done the heavy lifting and softened the defense up. Defenders exhale when Pollard checks in.. Now a few more games like Sunday and that will change.. But to this point games like that have not been the norm for him. When they do then the amount of attention he gets from defenses will also change.. That's when we will find out his true talent level. In 2020, by far the worst season of Zeke's career.. I believe Pollard had a lower ypc average than Zeke in 9 of the 15 games they played together..
  19. Bobhaze

    Bobhaze Moderator

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    Here is where I got my stats:
    It shows Zeke had 3 runs of 2O+ yards in 2020 and 4 in 2019. So yes, I made a mistake in that he has 7 of 20+ over the last two years instead of 3. I misread the 2019 stat. My mistake.

    It doesn’t change the fact that Pollard has more explosive plays of 20+ yards in way less attempts. Once again, I’m not saying Pollard is a better running back than Zeke or that he should play more than Zeke. But I am saying the numbers show Pollard has been more explosive than Zeke the last 18 games. I think you are arguing against someone who partially agrees with you. Zeke can do more things overall.

    Where I depart from your view is it’s pretty clear Zeke isn’t or hasn’t been what he used to be. I don’t think that’s arguable. Maybe he will change that in the next 15 games. But for whatever reason Zeke in 2019-21 (the last 34 games) has not been what he was 2016-2018.
  20. RonnieT24

    RonnieT24 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that Zeke is not what he used to be.. Perhaps some of that is aging and slowing down but I would submit that a LOT of it is simply deployment. Moore uses him very differently than Linehan and Garrett did. More shotgun runs, less deep set runs. Almost exclusively between the tackles save for one or two tendency busters. And maybe the biggest one IMHO is that late in games with the Cowboys up big Zeke is on the sideline chillin when he used to be out there abusing a defense that had given up and DBs who want no part of him anymore. Now those late game totes go to Pollard and he gets huge plays off them. That's to his credit.. but this assertion that it cements the fact that Zeke is spent is inaccurate. I think it's a good strategy to hit defenses with two backs with different styles. If it helps the Cowboys win I'm all for it. But until we reel off a bunch of wins doing this I will view it as less desirable than when we used to ride Zeke.. I don't see how any Cowboys fan could feel any different..
    Bobhaze likes this.

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