Cowboys Expected to Demand ‘Pay Cut’ From 3-Time Pro Bowler

Jerry Jones and Mike McCarthy

Getty Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and owner Jerry Jones speak to the media during a press conference.

The Dallas Cowboys are set for their annual Thanksgiving game in Week 12, and the plan of attack on offense will be an interesting aspect of the team’s plan.

Dallas is squaring off against the New York Giants for the second time this season, looking to complete the sweep of their NFC East rivals while improving to 8-3 on the season. The Giants are in the same boat, also looking for their eighth win of the season.

But while the immediate focus is on New York, Dallas has to figure out the future of two of its most important offensive weapons: running backs Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott.

Heavy Sports NFL insider Matt Lombardo recently broke down how the Cowboys might address the duo. For Zeke, a pay cut or other major change seems on the cards.

“Pollard, set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, just as he is becoming an integral component to the Cowboys’ offense, far more valuable than simply Elliott’s understudy,” Lombardo wrote. “Don’t be surprised if Dallas uses the franchise tag on [Pollard] and restructures Elliott’s contract to lower his cap number and keep both [Elliott and Pollard] in Arlington.”

Dallas Has Seen Dip With Ezekiel Elliott

When you’re the highest-paid running back in the NFL, expectations are high. Elliott has found this out firsthand since Dallas handed him a $90 million deal that pays him more than the likes of Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry.

As Pro Football Reference shows, Elliott has produced, albeit not to the level his contract would expect. Since getting the new deal in 2019, Elliott’s output has taken a dip downward from his first three years in the league.

In his first three seasons, Zeke had 4048 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns in 40 games. In the four years since his deal, Zeke has 3823 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns in 56 games.

It’s unfortunate for the veteran running back due to the fact that he’s still a good RB in the NFL. But the contract the Cowboys handed him in 2019 is simply gargantuan, and now leaves them in a difficult situation.

Cowboys RB Excited to See Tony Pollard Shine

While Pollard’s breakout season continues and Elliott tries to find his health again, the dynamic between the two has been under major scrutiny.

After all, the 25-year-old has six total touchdowns in the past three games and doesn’t show any signs of stopping. But Zeke isn’t getting caught up in “losing snaps” or his teammate’s success. Instead, the three-time Pro Bowler is ecstatic to see Pollard thrive, according to The Athletic’s Jon Machota.

“Ezekiel Elliott on Tony Pollard: “TP is so explosive, I mean, he’s physical, too. What he brings to the table is elite,” Machota tweeted on November 22. “On if it’s difficult accepting Pollard’s expanded role: “Not at all. I think we all have the same goal, go out there and win football games. … No, no way.”

That’s the kind of answer the Cowboys community wants to see, regardless of who ends up getting the leading role in the rushing attack. As Elliott fully recovers, it will be interesting to see how Dallas handles the duo.

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