Cowboys Place a Franchise Tag on Pro Bowl RB Tony Pollard

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard in November 2022
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard in November 2022. Photo by Darren Lee/CSM/Shutterstock (13622145bi)

The Dallas Cowboys will keep running back Tony Pollard, their leading rusher in 2022, with the franchise for at least one more year. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Cowboys decided to place a franchise tag on Pollard, guaranteeing him a salary of $10.09 million for 2023.

Pollard had a career year this past season despite making only four starts for the Cowboys. He finished the campaign with 1,007 rushing yards and nine touchdowns while also adding 39 catches for 371 receiving yards and three TDs. The 25-year-old player got his first Pro Bowl nod as a result.

While the franchise tag secures Pollard doesn’t hit free agency this offseason, the Cowboys reportedly still want to lock him on a long-term deal. The two sides have been actively negotiating and are expected to continue talks in the upcoming weeks.

Pollard entered the league in 2019 as a fourth-round pick out of Memphis. In his four seasons as a pro, he has 2,616 rushing yards and 17 TDs on the ground. The 25-year-old player is currently nursing a high ankle sprain and fractured fibula, which he suffered in NFC divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers, but is expected to return in time for training camp.

Having committed significant money to Pollard for this upcoming season, Dallas now needs to make a decision about franchise star Ezekiel Elliott. Considering Elliott’s declining ability, his $16.72 million cap hit doesn’t make sense for the Cowboys, and they will likely either cut the three-time Pro Bowler or try to get him to agree on a significant pay cut.