Cowboys Star Sends Strong Message on Tony Pollard’s Free Agency

Cowboys' Tony Pollard

Cowboys' Tony Pollard

When the Cowboys turned the page on the Ezekiel Elliott era last offseason, they were determined to reconfigure the running game around speedy back Tony Pollard, and gave Pollard a franchise-tag deal worth $10.4 million. It was an investment in a guy the team thought would be a star.

It did not go all that well, though it was not a complete disaster. Pollard logged 1,005 yards this season, which was good for 12th in the NFL and only two yards off last year’s total (1,007). But he did so on 252 carries, and his average of 4.0 yards per carry was well off last year’s mark, 5.2 yards per rush. He struggled, too, in

That has fueled speculation that the Cowboys might look for another top-flight running back next season. But star edge rusher Micah Parsons does not think that ought to be the case.

“I would say toward the end of the season Tony Pollard was catching his rhythm again,” Parsons said on “The Stephen A. Smith Show.” “I do think he’s an every-down guy. You’ve got to think, he broke his fibula … that’s a catastrophic injury.”

Cowboys’ Tony Pollard Struggled Coming Back From Injury

Indeed, Pollard has said that he did not feel comfortable last season until the Panthers game in Week 10, when he rushed for 61 yards on 12 carries and scored a touchdown for the first time since Week 1. He suffered the fibula injury last January in the playoffs, and had surgery to fix the broken bone.

He was limited in his offseason participation after that, and Parsons said that was a big part of Pollard’s issues last season.

“You’re talking about a guy that’s really been off from that January, came back Week 1 but he didn’t really do a lot,” Parsons said. “It takes a while to get back into football. He didn’t do OTAs. He didn’t do minicamp. He kind of did camp a little bit like working through it, getting back into it. You saw him increase, like he even said, ‘I’m just now getting back to myself.’ I would give Tony Pollard another shot.”

‘I Would Love to Be in Dallas’

The Cowboys have been linked to a number of high-profile running backs who could potentially replace Pollard, including Tennessee’s Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs of the Raiders. The team could offer Pollard another franchise tag, too, though that might be too high a cost.

Spotrac projects Pollard getting a two-year, $13 million contract, a deal that the Cowboys would likely be willing to hand out. Pro Football Focus has him getting a better deal, at $24 million over three years. The Cowboys might be reluctant to give a lengthy commitment to Pollard, though.

Pollard has said he hopes to stay in Dallas. In an appearance on the Blogging the Boys podcast this month, Pollard said, “If I could choose, I would love to be in Dallas. But at the end of the day, you know it’s a business. So, it is what it is. You gotta be ready for what comes.”

He is not sure, though, how things will pan out. “It’s a bit soon right now, especially with the current season going on,” Pollard said. “But after the Super Bowl, when the free-agency market gets going, I feel like it will be a little bit more of a clearer picture for me to see how things are going.”


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