Cowboys' Jerry Jones: Tony Pollard capable of ‘carrying the whole load’ in Ezekiel Elliott's absence

Jerry Jones addresses rumblings of Lincoln Riley as next Cowboys coach

Jerry Jones thinks highly of Tony Pollard.

The Cowboys have been without Ezekiel Elliott this preseason, as the star is holding out in hopes of receiving a new contract. Jones, however, believes Pollard ⁠— the team’s fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft — can step in and start in the backfield if needed.

“He looks confident out there,” Jones said about Pollard (via the team’s official website). “We know he’s inordinately understanding of what he does and can do. We’ve seen him do it, we know he’s capable of, if he really needs to, carrying the whole load.”

Pollard rushed for 16 yards on four carries in his preseason debut against the 49ers on Saturday. Dallas ended up falling to San Francisco, 17-9.

“I certainly thought (Pollard) had a good account of himself,” Jones said.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who is seeking an extension as well, completed all four of his pass attempts in limited action against the 49ers. He also praised Pollard.

“One of the most exciting players to me of this training camp,” Prescott said about Pollard last week (via the Dallas Morning News). “The things that he’s been able to do running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield. He’s making plays. And he’s really an intelligent dude. A really smart guy.

“When we’re in the offense, or in the offensive unit, or in the team meetings, anytime coach calls him out on his responsibility, without a hesitation he’s getting that right. That’s what you want to see from a young guy.”

Elliott, a two-time rushing champion, is not planning to return to the team until he signs a new deal, according to an earlier report from ESPN.