Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard is ready to get back to work after the team’s bye week, and he gets to do it with his running back coach, Jeff Blasko.
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Coach Jeff Blasko’s Return
Blasko has been on a health leave of absence since Week 1 of the season. Since then, other offensive coaches have taken over his duties.
The coach spent his first three years in Dallas as the team’s assistant offensive line coach before taking on his current role as the running backs coach this season.
How Blasko’s Return Helps Pollard
Pollard respects the coach’s ability to communicate up front and ensure everyone is on the same page; Pollard adds that Blasko’s reassuring presence is helpful in knowing what everyone’s assignment is.
MORE: How the Cowboys Can Cook Up More Offensive Production Against the Rams
“It’s good having him back in the room, especially his expertise in the blocking game and the run game. The way that he coaches up everything in the run game … Just glad to have him back,” said Pollard.
The running back emphasized that Blasko also helps the blocking aspect of the game by identifying the correct opposing players to block in game-time scenarios.
Tony Pollard’s Growing Patience
Pollard has been criticized for his pass protection throughout his career with the Cowboys. But, because of his pass pro, Dak Prescott was able to find Brandin Cooks in the end zone against the Los Angeles Chargers.
However, Pollard’s yards per carry is significantly lower than last season, down from 5.2 to 3.9.
The running back says this isn’t a stat he pays close attention to because it can climb back up at any point with more big-stat games.
PRESCOTT TO COOKS. @DallasCowboys take the lead
— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2023
But he has had to be more patient with the run this season, adding that he has to let things come to him and not try to force major plays to happen.
The fifth-year veteran spent the bye week in self-evaluation mode, saying he spent more time watching film of himself.
“Watching my tendencies, things that I like to do on film, so I’m not predictable out there,” Pollard said.
How Can the Dallas Cowboys Restore the Run Game?
The Cowboys are ranked 16th in the league in rushing yards, only having 718 in 182 attempts.
The veteran running back thinks the lack of consistent commitment to the run has come from the different opponents and game flows that the team has faced within the first seven weeks of the season.
“You come into the game of a mindset of how you want to play it, how you want to approach it, but then the flow of the game may dictate it and make it go another way. It’s just playing football,” Pollard said.
Another aspect is continuing to have a healthy starting offensive line. This will be the third week the Cowboys’ starting line practices together for the first time this season.
With the offensive line’s continuity directly impacting the run game, Pollard said, “Everything that they do, it affects us.”
The Cowboys will go up against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, who are ranked 20th in the league in opponent rushing yards per game.
This could be the perfect game for the Cowboys to reconnect with the run and re-establish it once again.
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