The Dallas Cowboys leaned on the dynamic rushing duo of Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott, who led them to another 12-win season plus a Wild Card Round victory against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But Pollard, coming off a career-high 1,007 rushing yards, can enter free agency after completing his rookie contract. The 27-year-old Elliott just completed the second of a six-year, $90 million contract extension he signed in 2019.
So Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the rest of the front office have a lot of work ahead of them. Do they keep just Pollard? Only Elliott? Neither, or both? A new report indicates that the cap-strapped Cowboys just might manage to keep both.
Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network spoke to people at the Senior Bowl to get some new details on several big-named running backs. According to Pauline, the expectation is that the Cowboys will place the franchise tag on Pollard. On top of that, there’s optimism that Elliott will take a pay cut to remain with the organization:
“Tony Pollard is expected to receive the franchise tag from the Dallas Cowboys. With his four-year rookie contract coming to an end, Pollard has put together his two best seasons so far…
At the same time, people in Mobile believe Ezekiel Elliott, who is scheduled to make $16.7 million this coming season, will take a large pay cut. Since signing a massive six-year, $90 million deal back in 2019, Elliott’s production has done nothing but go downhill…
With Dallas having an out in his contract this offseason, they could cut Elliott and pay $11.8 million in dead money. A pay cut might be Elliott’s only option if he wants to remain in Dallas.”
Elliott is no longer the game-changing force who took home the 2016 and 2018 rushing titles, but he remains a very reliable running back in more ways than one. He’s still productive in the red zone (12 rushing touchdowns last season), and he remains one of the game’s elite blocking RBs.
Pollard is unquestionably better and more explosive at this phase of his career, but keeping him fresh by using Elliott in goal-to-go situations has worked out nicely for all parties. The Cowboys have just over a month to figure out what they want to do with before free agency begins.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.