The Dallas Cowboys have looked like they are finally ready to make some big changes at the running back position this offseason.
The team’s hierarchy at the position clearly changed during the 2022 season and now it isn’t even a certainty that Ezekiel Elliott will be on their roster next season.
If they let Zeke go, they’ll need somebody to step up as their RB1 next season. The obvious choice is Tony Pollard, but Pollard and the Cowboys haven’t been able to reach an agreement on a contract extension yet.
Now it looks like the Cowboys may look for a shorter term solution.
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys are planning to franchise tag Pollard if they don’t agree to an extension before Tuesday’s deadline for the franchise tag.
The #Cowboys will franchise tag RB Tony Pollard if the two sides cannot work out a long-term deal by the Tuesday deadline, sources say. Dallas has been clear the tag is an option, and they aren't in the business of letting great players walk. Pollard will be there in 2023.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2023
Making sure Tony Pollard is still on the roster for at least the 2023 season is the only option for the Dallas Cowboys.
They know that Ezekiel Elliott isn’t the same running back he used to be and Tony Pollard proved that he is the top dog in the backfield throughout this past year.
The 2022 season was the best of his career as he racked up 1007 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns while averaging more than yards per carry. He also even added in 371 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air.
The Cowboys will need more of that from him next season based on Mike McCarthy has said since taking over as the team’s play caller this offseason. For whatever reason, McCarthy sees more value in establishing the run than he does in running up the score through the air.
That should mean a whole lot more Tony Pollard for the Dallas Cowboys during the 2023 season and could give him the opportunity to try and secure a big contract next offseason if he doesn’t get one this offseason.