Cowboys Anticipated to Offer Star $48 Million Contract: Analyst

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys could offer RB Tony Pollard a big contract this offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys could offer a large contract to a current Pro Bowler.

As mentioned by FanSided’s Jerry Trotta, running back Tony Pollard will be a free agent this offseason. The Cowboys will likely have to shell out big money to retain their top offensive playmaker. As noted by Trotta, he expects Pollard to command an offer in the neighborhood of $8-to-$12 million per year across four seasons.

“That makes it all the more difficult to gauge what the Cowboys might offer Pollard, but something between $8-12 million annually over four years with an $8 million signing bonus and $15 million guaranteed could get the job done,” said Trotta. “For context, Joe Mixon and Aaron Jones both pocket $12 million per year.”

Pollard Could Earn Top-Tier RB Money

The Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Mixon is the lead workhorse of his team’s backfield while Aaron Jones is in a dual committee backfield with A.J. Dillion of the Green Bay Packers.

Six of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL all make over $12 million per year, with the San Francisco 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey earning $16 million per year as the highest-paid back and the Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb earning $12.2 million per season to rank No. 6.

According to Spotrac, they project Pollard’s value to be $8.4 million per season across three years.

Although Pollard may not be the de facto running back in Dallas’ backfield — he shares touches with starting back Ezekiel Elliott — it makes sense he could earn top-tier running back given his ability to make plays whenever he touches the ball.

Among backs with at least 100 touches this season, Pollard ranks No. 6, only behind Khalil Herbert, Chubb, Miles Sanders, Travis Etienne and Tyler Allgeier. Among those aforementioned backs, only Pollard, Chubb and Sanders were named to the Pro Bowl this season.

Cowboys’ Offer Depends on Elliott’s Contract Situation

The idea that Pollard will earn top running back money — whether with the Cowboys or another team — is not a question. The question is, how are the Cowboys going to come to terms with Ezekiel Elliott on restructuring his contract so they can bring back both runners?

Elliott is due to earn $15 million during the 2023 season, which makes him the second-highest paid back in the league. While Elliott still holds tremendous value as a durable runner, red zone threat and short-yardage back, it’s clear the wear-and-tear has taken a toll on his efficiency.

The 27-year-old is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry — that would mark his lowest yards per carry since entering the league in 2016 — and his longest run this season has gone for just 17 yards. While it’s clear Dallas heavily relies upon Pollard in passing situations, Elliott has become a non-factor in the passing game, catching a career-low 17 passes for 92 yards and zero touchdowns.

Further complicating Pollard’s market value is the fact that the free agent running back pool is loaded. One can argue that Pollard is not even the top back entering free agency, as Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Sanders will also be available.

There’s little doubt the Cowboys will try to re-sign Pollard. However, what they offer him will partly be dictated by how they restructure Elliott’s contract and what other top backs will command on the market.

It’ll be an interesting offseason for the Cowboys, but bringing back Pollard will likely be their top objective in 2023.

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