It’s not quite a changing of the guard, but a shifting of momentum in the Dallas Cowboys backfield. A premeditated move, months in the making.

“Frankly ever since training camp,” Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones revealed, the team had plotted more touches for Tony Pollard, the dynamic understudy behind $90 million running back Ezekiel Elliott.

“That’s not necessarily because of Zeke,” Jones cautioned during a December 7 radio interview on 105.3 The Fan, via the Dallas Morning News. “We just want him to have the ball more.”

The plan is going swimmingly as Pollard has jumped from 8.1 touches per game in 2020 to 11.5 per game this season. Entering Week 14, the third-year pro ranks second to a dinged-up Elliott with 602 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 107 carries, though his yards-per-carry average (5.6) is significantly better than the former Pro Bowler’s (4.4).