Cowboys put franchise tag on RB Pollard after breakout year
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
The Dallas Cowboys have placed their franchise tag on Tony Pollard and still hope to work out a long-term deal with the running back coming off a breakout season.
If Pollard signs it, the one-year contract would be worth about $10.1 million. The Cowboys and the running back, who was at the end of the four-year deal he got as a rookie, then would have until July 15 to come to terms on a longer contract. The tag Monday came a day before the deadline for such a move.
Pollard became a top playmaker on offense for the Cowboys and was selected to the Pro Bowl last season. He rushed for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns, and caught 39 passes for 371 yards and another three scores during the regular season.
He broke his left fibula and sustained a high ankle sprain when he was tackled in the first half of a 19-12 loss at San Francisco in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. He had surgery and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
The Cowboys could save money on their salary cap by cutting Ezekiel Elliott, who is set to make $10.9 million next season, with a cap hit of more than $16.7 million. There have been indications that the three-time Pro Bowl running back would be willing to take a pay cut to stay with the Cowboys.
Elliott missed two games last season because of a knee injury, and he finished with a career-low 876 rushing yards. He still ran for 12 touchdowns, matching his most rushing scores since 15 as a rookie in 2016.
Pollard, who turns 26 on April 30, was a fourth-round draft pick out of Memphis in 2019. He has averaged 5.1 yards per carry while running for 2,616 yards and 17 touchdowns in his 62 career games (six starts) with the Cowboys. He has 121 catches for 1,007 yards and five TDs.
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Updated March 6, 2023