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Tony Pollard 'has stuck out' with Ezekiel Elliott absent

While the Dallas Cowboysfront office has been adamant that it expects to reach a deal with Ezekiel Elliott, coach Jason Garrett has to at least prepare for life without him.

Rookie running back Tony Pollard has apparently made that worst-case scenario a little more palatable through two weeks of training camp.

By all accounts, the fourth-round selection has made the most of the first-team reps he otherwise would have not gotten if Zeke weren't holding out.

"Tony Pollard has done a real nice job out there," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. "He's getting a little bit of everything. He's probably one that has stuck out for me if I were going to pick one."

His all-purpose potential was a big reason why the Cowboys picked Pollard in the first place

The 6-foot, 210-pound back routinely delivered while at Memphis despite never being the feature ball-carrier. Working alongside Darrell Henderson, now a rookie with the Rams, Pollard averaged 6.8 yards per carry, 12.4 yards per reception and 30.1 yards per kickoff return. Moreover, he scored nine touchdowns running, nine receiving and seven returning.

That versatility could be a precursor for his role with the Cowboys -- alongside Elliott.

"One of the most exciting players to me of this training camp," quarterback Dak Prescott called Pollard. "The things that he's been able to do running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield. He's making plays. ...

"He's going to help us out."

Garrett intimated that might happen sooner rather than later, and not because Zeke might ultimately miss games. Pollard has shown more than playmaking skills, proving to have a good grasp on pass blocking as well.

"He is someone who continues to play fast," Garrett said. "He doesn't look like he's not playing to his speed because he is thinking too much."

The more Pollard produces, Garrett could be thinking about how to pair his favorite toy with his new one. The latter seems to be putting this unexpected opportunity in the proper perspective.

"I'm in the playbook every night,'' Pollard said. "Every night you have to learn what you just did in practice and get up on a new install. Just trying to stay a step ahead. I always stay ready so I don't have to get ready."

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