The Dallas Cowboys followed up a stellar 56-14 statement win over the Washington Football Team last Sunday with an underwhelming and a confidence deflating 25-22 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17. But those who choose to remain optimistic will rightly point out the Cardinals are a far better opponent than lowly Washington.
The Cards entered Sunday’s matchup against Dallas at AT&T Stadium with an impressive 10-5 record, one game behind their NFC West rivals, the Los Angeles Rams, who top their division. Despite defeating the Cowboys at home on Sunday afternoon, Arizona failed to make up ground on the Rams who narrowly won 20-19 over the Baltimore Ravens.
One of the areas that the Cowboys struggled against the Cardinals was running the football. Despite having the best running back duo in the NFL, Dallas was only able to generate 45 total rushing yards against a stout Arizona defense. And it was quarterback Dak Prescott who actually led the team in rushing with 20 yards on five carries.
Starting running back Ezekiel Elliott averaged a lowly 1.8 yards per carry, toting the rock a total of nine times for only 16 yards. Backup back Tony Pollard, who’s in the midst of a breakout season, didn’t fare much better. The third-year veteran rushed for nine yards on a mere three attempts.
Pollard did bring in three catches for 49 yards. While Elliott had only one catch for 14 yards in the Cowboys’ final home game of the regular season. But it’s in this combined yardage where the duo has already left their mark on franchise history.
According to NFL.com, Elliott and Pollard are the first two Cowboys’ running backs to record more than 1,000 scrimmage yards each in the same season since Herschel Walker and Tony Dorsett did so back in 1986.
With one game left to be played, Elliott has racked up 915 rushing yards and 284 receiving yards in 2021, his sixth NFL season. And Pollard is having a career year posting 719 yards on the ground and 337 yards through the air.