During his tenure with the Packers, he never once cracked the top ten in the league regarding rushing attempts. Since joining the Cowboys, McCarthy’s offenses have had run-pass ratios in favor of the pass at 59% in 2020, 57% in 2021, and 51% in 2022.
The most balanced the Cowboys offense has been under McCarthy was last season, and you can make the case injuries forced them into that outcome. Cooper Rush started five games in place of Dak Prescott, and Tyron Smith, who, when healthy, is one the game’s best pass protectors, missed 13 games. The passing attempt figures should increase if the Cowboys stay healthy.
Without Elliott, the Cowboys won’t feel the impetus to justify a large contract at running back and go out of their way to satisfy touches for Tony Pollard and Elliott. The team has previously mentioned their concerns about Pollard having too heavy of a workload in terms of carries. While the team likes Malik Davis and draftee Deuce Vaughn, it’s doubtful they will embrace a heavy emphasis on making them part of a committee to spell Pollard.
Additionally, Michael Gallup should be sharper in his second season after tearing his ACL late in the 2021 season, and the Cowboys added Brandin Cooks to their receiving corps.
Finally, the team has yet to add a proven short-yardage runner on the roster. Short-yardage conversions could translate to a passing opportunity for the tight ends. The team drafted another tight end in the second round, after all.
All signs point to 2023 weighing heavily on the shoulders (and arm) of Dak Prescott.