Cowboys running back Tony Pollard ready for expanded role in 2021

Will likely see time as both receiver, kick returner

Cowboys running back Tony Pollard catches a pass and turns upfield during practice at training camp in Oxnard, California.
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard catches a pass and turns upfield during practice at training camp in Oxnard, California. (KSAT)

OXNARD, California – Cowboys running back Tony Pollard says he has reported to training camp in Oxnard at 210 pounds, but expects to be 215 pounds before too long. 

That might be harder than he thinks.

Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is planning on using Pollard more as a receiver this season, either out of the backfield on in the slot to give defenses different looks in 2021.

“I pretty much have the running game down,” Pollard said. “Now it’s about taking my game to the next level, expanding my role.”

That expansion also includes time with special teams, where first-year coordinator John Fassel plans on using Pollard as a kick returner.

“I think that’s something we are starting to look at, getting different guys back there since CeeDee has a big load on offense as a receiver.”

RELATED: Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb looks to improve on stellar rookie season

Lamb enjoyed his fair share of success during his rookie year, even without Dak Prescott under center for the majority of the season. This year, Dallas has moved CeeDee from slot to outside receiver while Amari Cooper recovers from his offseason ankle surgery.

Pollard had already seen more action outside of the backfield last year. He did carry the ball 101 times for 435 yards, but added 28 catches for 193 yards. That number is up from his rookie season, where he had 15 receptions for 107 yards. With that in mind, Pollard will likely get more touches on the ground to help Ezekiel Elliott bounce back from his worst season in the NFL and revitalize Dallas’ once dominant running game.

There are plenty of what-ifs head into this year. Pollard believes the best way to move forward is to focus on internal improvement.

“I feel like our biggest opponent is us. So long as we don’t beat ourselves, who knows.”

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About the Authors:

Greg Simmons is the sports director and a sports anchor for KSAT 12.

Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.