The Dallas Cowboys are apparently set to bring back Tony Pollard, but that doesn’t mean that the NFC East franchise is done revamping the offense.
As Heavy’s DJ Siddiqi recently covered, the Cowboys are looking to franchise tag Pollard to bring back the fifth-year running back after his breakout season in 2022. But Dallas has their eggs in various baskets, as they’re also meeting with the next breed of NFL stars.
One potential name? Jahmyr Gibbs. The former Alabama Crimson Tide star is at the combine to impress NFL scouts before the 2023 draft, and he has apparently already met with the Cowboys according to team reporter Hailey Sutton.
“Jahmyr Gibbs says he has met with the #Cowboys, and would love the opportunity to play in Dallas,” Sutton posted. “Credits his college RB coach & former Cowboys running back @coachchoice for his success at the college level.”
Gibbs already has a connection to the team with former RB Tashard Choice being his RBs coach in college, and will likely be available in the mid-rounds where the Cowboys should have a better chance of landing him.
Gibbs Excels with Alabama
After an impressive two years with Georgia Tech, Gibbs tested his interest with the NCAA transfer portal. Alabama and head coach Nick Saban came calling, which gave the Dalton, Georgia native a bigger platform to perform.
As Sports Reference shows, Gibbs showed off his dual-threat potential as both a rusher and a receiver. Picking up 6.1 yards per carry, the young RB totaled 926 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
He also added 444 receiving yards and three touchdowns, adding up to 1370 yards from scrimmage and 10 scores. His speed and lateral quickness translated to success at the SEC level, now springboarding the start to his NFL career.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein doesn’t see him as an “every down” back, but does think he would fit as the second RB option in an offense.
“Gibbs might be better off with a more measured carry count as an RB2, but his versatility and pass-catching prowess will give creative play-callers an opportunity to exploit certain personnel groupings and find mismatches in space,” Zierlein writes.
Cowboys Keeping Pollard?
While the Cowboys are clearly interested in a back for the future, they are still solving the current situation with Pollard and RB Ezekiel Elliott. NFL media insider Ian Rapoport cleared up a good part of that with his recent report on Dallas’ franchise tag.
“The #Cowboys will franchise tag RB Tony Pollard if the two sides cannot work out a long-term deal by the Tuesday deadline, sources say,” Rapoport Tweeted on March 3. “Dallas has been clear the tag is an option, and they aren’t in the business of letting great players walk. Pollard will be there in 2023.”
Of course, Dallas could figure out a deal for Pollard but the franchise tag will allow them to ensure he comes back in 2023. Meanwhile, the running back gets a sizable salary that should be an accurate salary for the value he provides the team.
That does not necessarily clear up Elliott’s future, though. The veteran running back could still be brought back with a restructured deal, but Dallas could also cut him loose and sign someone like Gibbs instead.