In simply a few years, Dallas Cowboys’ operating again Tony Pollard has gone from being a scrappy backup to the crew’s most harmful weapon out of the backfield. The 2019 fourth-round draft decide turned Dallas’ major rusher in most individuals’s eyes in the course of the ‘22 marketing campaign. The Cowboys wish to preserve Pollard round long run, however for now, they’ve slapped the franchise tag on the Professional Bowler, which is able to price them simply over $10 million subsequent season.
Jerry Jones and his entrance workplace may have till July 15 to succeed in a long-term cope with Pollard, or he’ll play on the tag in ‘23. Whereas Pollard didn’t get as many carries as Ezekiel Elliot final 12 months, he did eclipse him in dashing yards going for 1,007 on the season. Elliott rushed for a career-low 876 yards and solely missed two video games.
What about Zeke?
With a long-term deal seemingly within the works for Pollard, questions on Elliott’s future in Massive D turn into extra critical by the day. At a price ticket of $16 million towards the wage cap, It could be practically inconceivable for Dallas to maintain Zeke and ink Pollard to a giant cash deal. Including to Elliott’s obvious decline, this probably means his days in Frisco are numbered.
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“I wish to be right here,” Elliott mentioned after the divisional spherical loss to the San Francisco 49ers. “I don’t have a crystal ball; I can’t inform you the long run. However I undoubtedly wish to be right here.”
The one strategy to preserve each with out inflicting an excessive amount of injury on the cap can be for Zeke to just accept a pay minimize — which he’s reportedly prepared to do. Jones might at all times draft one other again, however we all know he could be loyal to a fault. Elliott is without doubt one of the gamers Jones appears to like, so will probably be arduous speaking him into reducing the previous first-round choice.
This wouldn’t be a difficulty for many groups, and primarily based on Elliott’s fall from grace, he’d already be within the free-agent pool. Fortunately for him, Jerry Jones doesn’t function like different homeowners. Typically he holds on too lengthy with sure gamers, and Zeke is one among them. Now that the Cowboys can transfer off Elliott with out a lot penalty, they should push ahead. He had just a few nice years, nevertheless it’s over.
Operating backs don’t normally bounce again after they fall off. Elliott will likely be 28 in July and may by no means rush for 1,000 yards once more. If he’s prepared to take much less cash, Jones might take him up on that provide, however then there’ll probably be an obligation for Mike McCarthy to play him as a lot as attainable. All that does is maintain Pollard again or stunt the expansion of any rusher they draft/signal to fill out the backfield. Jerry Jones has some robust selections to make very quickly.