Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott played on partially torn PCL in wild-card loss to 49ers

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Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 31 yards in the Cowboys' NFC wild-card loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, and revealed afterward that he played through a significant injury.

Elliott said after the loss at AT&T Stadium that he had a partially torn PCL in his knee. Thankfully, he said, he shouldn’t need surgery this offseason.

It’s unclear when Elliott tore his PCL, though he has been dealing with knee issues since the early weeks of the season.

Elliott finished the season with 1,002 yards and 10 touchdowns. It marked his fourth 1,000-yard season in his six years in the league. The 26-year-old finished the second year of his six-year, $90 million deal with the Cowboys.

Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott said he likely won't need surgery on his knee this offseason. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Why didn’t Tony Pollard get more touches Sunday?

With Elliott playing through a partially torn PCL, many wondered why the Cowboys didn’t lean on Tony Pollard more Sunday against San Francisco.

Based on how that game went, it’s a fair question to ask.

Pollard had four carries for 14 yards in the 23-17 loss. He was Dallas' third-leading rusher behind Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott, who had 27 yards on four carries and a touchdown.

While Elliott is the Cowboys' primary running back, Pollard is more than capable of holding his own. Pollard ran for a career-high 719 yards and two touchdowns this season, his third with the team. He missed Dallas' regular season finale to rest his foot after tearing his plantar fascia in early December, but was “back to 100%,” coach Mike McCarthy said this past week.

Despite that, and Elliott’s injury, he only had four carries against the 49ers.

Either way, the Cowboys' season is done. They will have both running backs again next season — Pollard is entering the final year of his initial four-year, $3.1 million deal — so McCarthy has plenty of time to figure how to better use them both together than how Sunday played out.

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