The No. 3 back will play an important role in 2022

Elliott was hampered by a torn ACL during the latter part of the 2021 season, but still managed to rush for more than 1,000 yards (1,289 scrimmage yards with 12 touchdowns) and, now healthy, again shows his quickness. and pop on display at camping.

“I think he’s got it back,” Peete said. “He seems quicker to me in the early part of camp than he was at the end of last year. I think he’s lost a little bit of weight, his quickness is there.”

So if you’re expecting a pitch with Elliott, don’t, but feel free to expect what could be the greatest balance the Cowboys have seen at running back since Pollard joined the team as their fourth-round pick in 2019.

That’s the plan, at least.

“It’s not going to be a pitch count [on Zeke]said Peete. “But I think it’s going to be a [fluid] They count because they are going to share time. It will work naturally that way. They will both play, depending on the games and the situations, how much they will both be involved at the same time, so I think that aspect will be resolved naturally.

“I don’t think you ever get into a game [putting Elliott on a pitch count]. I think you’re saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to use these two guys.’ Some game plans will probably be more with both playing more than the other, who knows?

“It just depends on the game.”

Peete, whose extensive coaching experience stretches back through the college ranks and, at the NFL level, includes recently spending time with the Los Angeles Rams before returning to the Cowboys in 2020.

He delved into his football past to make some interesting comparisons to what he’s trying to accomplish or would like to see happen in Dallas, with the help of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and head coach Mike McCarthy, comparing the tandem of Elliott and Pollard to having the potential. by Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown, Marion Barber and Julius Jones, Marion Barber and Felix Jones or Felix Jones with DeMarco Murray.

But, if that mission is accomplished next season, it will require a very capable third running back to spell both of them, and especially if Elliott and Pollard are called up. frequently in sets of two backups, as the wide receiver unit also tries to resolve.

“When you’re using two guys in the game a lot at the same time, your third running back has to be very involved,” Peete said. “He’s going to be a guy that’s probably going to play a little bit more than your typical third-back would.”

As it stands, that crown belongs to Rico Dowdle, a talented young upstart who began making waves on the RB depth chart before seeing the sophomore year derailed last August by a season-ending hip injury. Entering Year 3, Dowdle looks determined, willing and able to make some plays for the Cowboys when Elliott and/or Pollard need a break.

But don’t count out rookies Malik Davis and Aaron Shampklin in this fight.

“Everyone is a challenge for that role. [of RB3]Peete said. But what if we had to play a match tomorrow? Rico has really shown that he has matured a lot and has a complete understanding of what we are doing. If you had asked me two years ago, he would probably have said that he is wide open.

“But, right now, I think he’s distanced himself a little bit from those other guys because of his ability to be here and understand what we’re doing — he’s got two months under his belt versus six months. Those other two guys are pretty talented as well. The way they’ve learned the system has been very, very impressive, and I wouldn’t leave anything out of those guys challenging someone.”

Other than that, you can also expect Dowdle to “get a lot of reps” in each of the Cowboys’ three preseason games. The name of the RB3 game is to show and prove in August the right to play in September and beyond because, as Peete admits, a third-impact defenseman remains critical to keeping a nimble pair of legs on the pitch at all times.

“The key is to make sure we have fresh guys throughout the game,” he said. “If you have that [RB] there for the whole game, it puts a little more pressure on the defense.”

It will all begin and end with Moore finally making good on his promise to bring both Elliott and Pollard onto the field at the same time, and often.

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