NFL News: Dallas Cowboys Franchise Tag RB Tony Pollard

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys are applying the franchise tag to 25-year-old running back Tony Pollard.

Pollard, the Cowboys’ fourth-round (128th overall) pick from the 2019 NFL Draft will receive a $10.09 million salary for 2023.

He had the first 1,000+ rushing yard season in 2022.

Many view Pollard as the more explosive back of the Cowboys tandem that consists of Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott.

Injury Ended Pollard’s Season

Tony Pollard’s career-best 2022 season ended with a high-ankle sprain suffered during the Cowboys’ divisional playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Pollard had a procedure in late January to repair ligament damage.

According to ESPN, the procedure is known as a “TightRope” procedure because a braided polyethylene cord is used in lieu of surgical screws to allow the tibia and fibula to heal.

Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Tannehill have undergone similar procedures; Tua’s was done while he was at Alabama.

Pollard is expected to be ready for training camp.

Injury Affected Marketability

Pollard’s injury affected his marketability and bargaining power with the Cowboys.

It seemed very little doubt that the Cowboys would retain Pollard, and the franchise tag is the logical option and at the best cost for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys are likely hesitant to go all-in with another lucrative running back contract since they are still dealing with the ramifications of the massive Ezekiel Elliott six-year $90 million contract.

Elliott is 27 years old and his best performance remains his 2016 rookie season when he had 15 rushing touchdowns and over 1,600 rushing yards.

Veteran Running Back Market Is Changing

The marketability of the veteran running back is not what it once was.

The Tennessee Titans are reportedly shopping former NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry who is 29 years old.

26-year-old Saquon Barkley is on uncertain terms with the New York Giants and could end up a free agent in the coming days.

During the 2022 offseason, the Cleveland Browns signed 27-year-old Nick Chubb to a three-year $36 million extension.

The wear and tear on the running back’s body and the ever-present talent in college that is available at each year’s NFL Draft makes it likely that the days of long-term running back contracts are in the past.

NFL Betting Guides 2023


Arrow to top