With Ezekiel Elliott trending toward missing Sunday’s game against the Steelers, who else do the Cowboys have on the running back depth chart?
The hits just keep coming for the Dallas Cowboys. After quarterback Dak Prescott’s season-ending leg injury, they’ll be on their fourth starting quarterback this week. Running back Ezekiel Elliott showed up on the injury report this week with a hamstring issue. Now Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News has reported the Cowboys are preparing to be without Elliott on Sunday.
According to Gehlken, the Cowboys have elevated fullback Sewo Olonilua from the practice squad. Head coach Mike McCarthy said Elliott will go through a pregame workout, but that roster move to add a body at running back is not a great sign he’ll play.
Who is Ezekiel Elliott’s backup?
Inquiring fantasy football minds and fantasy managers who have Elliott are surely aware Tony Pollard is Dallas’ No. 2 running back. The second-year man out of Memphis, drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round (128th overall) of the 2019 draft, has 149 yards on 38 carries this season along with 12 catches for 77 yards.
As a rookie last year, Pollard had 86 carries for 455 yards and two touchdowns (5.3 yards per carry), as well as 15 receptions for 107 yards and another score. He went over 100 yards on the ground twice, with a third game (Week 17) where he had 60 yards.
If Elliott can’t go, Pollard will be in line for 15-20 touches against the Steelers. If Elliott is able to play he’ll definitely be limited. So Pollard could still get double-digit touches, against a Pittsburgh defense that’s allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs (16.63 per game; Yahoo! 0.5-point PPR scoring).
Behind Pollard is undrafted rookie Rico Dowdle, who has three carries for 13 yards this season (all in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals). Olonilua could also pick up a stray carry or two on Sunday.
If you’re mining the depths for a flex option this week, Pollard should be on your radar now. He’s 30 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues and 20 percent owned in ESPN leagues as of early Saturday afternoon. Just don’t expect a lot, with a best a lot of work in a very tough matchup. But looking toward Week 10, with Elliott banged up whether he plays or not this week, Pollard will be on the waiver wire radar.