Why Cowboys made the right call to not franchise tag Tony Pollard

As the March 5 deadline looms, reports indicate that the Dallas Cowboys will refrain from utilizing the franchise tag on running back Tony Pollard. This strategic choice implies that Pollard will venture into free agency unless a mutually beneficial long-term agreement is brokered. As such, the Cowboys have found themselves at a crossroads concerning Pollard’s fate.

Tony Pollard in the middle, Coach Mike McCarthy and GM Jerry Jones around him, and Dallas Cowboys wallpaper in the background.

The Cowboys’ 2023 Season
In exploring the rationale behind the Cowboys’ decision, it is imperative to contextualize their trajectory during the 2023 NFL season. Bolstered by the resilience of Dak Prescott, the offensive prowess orchestrated by head coach Mike McCarthy, and the emergence of a formidable defense, the Cowboys enjoyed a commendable campaign. It was marked by moments of triumph and resilience. Yet, their journey met an untimely end with a disheartening defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card Round. That was obviously a bitter pill to swallow for a team harboring aspirations of championship glory.

Cowboys' Dak Prescott, Mike McCarthy, Tony Pollard, and CeeDee Lamb all in image (Prescott in front). Place the Super Bowl trophy somewhere in image.

Cowboys’ Dak Prescott, Mike McCarthy, Tony Pollard, and CeeDee Lamb all in image (Prescott in front). Place the Super Bowl trophy somewhere in image.

The Cowboys’ Offseason Outlook
As the Cowboys chart their course for the offseason, the landscape appears fraught with both challenges and opportunities. With cornerstone players secured under long-term contracts, the organization finds itself at a pivotal juncture. They are tasked with fortifying their roster while navigating the intricacies of the salary cap.

Amidst the flurry of offseason deliberations, the impending departure of key personnel looms large. In addition, the specter of restructuring Prescott’s contract and fortifying the offensive line underscores the meticulous planning required to sustain the team’s competitive edge.

Against this backdrop of uncertainty and strategic recalibration, the decision regarding Tony Pollard assumes heightened significance. Sure, Pollard’s contributions on the field have been undeniable. However, the Cowboys’ reluctance to tether themselves to the rigidity of the franchise tag underscores their commitment to fostering financial flexibility and long-term sustainability.

Here we will look at why the Dallas Cowboys made the right call to not franchise tag Tony Pollard.

No Franchise Tag
Recall that Tony Pollard played on the franchise tag for the Cowboys in 2023. He endured a challenging season following an injury sustained in the 2022 playoffs. If the Cowboys had chosen to employ the franchise tag on Pollard again this offseason, he would have been entitled to over $12 million for the 2024 season.

However, the Cowboys are not expected to do so. Instead, Pollard will engage in discussions with other teams starting March 11 to negotiate a potential contract framework. He will officially become a free agent on March 13. The level of interest he garners in the market will be intriguing to observe.

From 2019 to 2022, Pollard showcased his prowess as a running back for the Cowboys. He maintained an impressive average of over five yards per carry in three out of four seasons. Despite rushing for 1,005 yards in 2023, however, his yards per carry dipped to just four.

The team that ultimately signs Pollard will undoubtedly hope for a return to his pre-2023 form and pre-injury productivity. Timing may prove challenging for Pollard, though. He enters the market following a less-than-stellar year, alongside numerous other running backs. It remains to be seen what kind of contract he secures and which team he aligns with.

Right Move
The Cowboys’ decision not to franchise tag Tony Pollard demonstrates their commitment to financial flexibility. It allows them to allocate resources strategically across the team’s needs. This approach empowers the Cowboys to make calculated moves in free agency while potentially retaining crucial players.

Furthermore, the Cowboys’ choice reflects their dedication to nurturing young talent internally. This can foster a culture of growth and progression within the team. By respecting Pollard’s autonomy to explore free agency, the Cowboys prioritize maintaining a harmonious locker room atmosphere. That’s crucial for team cohesion and morale. Additionally, abstaining from tagging Pollard aligns with the Cowboys’ overarching roster strategy. It enables them to reshape team dynamics and address positional needs effectively through the draft or free agency. This gives them enough space to build a competitive and balanced team for 2024.

Dallas Cowboys, Tony Pollard, Dak Prescott

Staying Anyway?
In reality, Pollard faces the prospect of a pay cut regardless of where he lands. ESPN reportedly places him in the fourth tier of free agent running backs. As such, he projects an average annual salary of $4 to $6 million.

Remember that high-profile running backs like Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Josh Jacobs, and D’Andre Swift are on the market. That’s alongside potential additions like Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones, Alvin Kamara, and Joe Mixon. This means limited opportunities for Pollard.

Given that, staying with Dallas might be his most prudent option. Pollard had his chance to prove himself in 2023. However, he may still have been hindered by his recovery from a fractured fibula sustained late in 2022. Signing a short-term deal with the Cowboys for 2024 could provide him with another opportunity to shine.

Looking Ahead
The Dallas Cowboys’ decision not to franchise tag Tony Pollard reflects a multifaceted approach. This entails financial prudence, a commitment to youth development, locker room cohesion, and strategic roster planning. By forgoing the franchise tag, the Cowboys signal their intent to strategically fortify their roster. As Pollard ventures into the free agency market, the spotlight shifts to the intricacies of his contract negotiations. We’ll see how he compares to the other marquee RBs entering free agency. As the offseason unfolds and the NFL landscape evolves, the echoes of the Cowboys’ strategic maneuver reverberate as a testament to their unwavering pursuit of sustained relevance.

Related Posts

Anаlyst: How Byron Murрһy сould һelр Seаһаwks’ fіnаnсіаl future

Tһe Seаttle Seаһаwks fіnd tһemselves іn а рeсulіаr sіtuаtіon wіtһ tһree montһs to go untіl рreseаson gаmes get underwаy. How Seаttle Seаһаwks mаde ‘smаrt deсіsіons’ іn NFL…

Bronсos’ Seаn Pаyton Mаkes Bold Predісtіon About NFL Rule Cһаnge

Tһere wіll be а lot of new fасes аnd tһіngs аround tһe Denver Bronсos аnd Heаd Coасһ Seаn Pаyton tһіs seаson, аnd tһe NFL іs undergoіng а…

Gіаnts’ Brіаn Dаboll sаys һe һаs ‘сonfіdenсe’ іn Cor’Dаle Flott

Tһere іs аn oрenіng іn tһe Gіаnts’ stаrtіng lіneuр аs а рerіmeter сornerbасk to рlаy асross from Deonte Bаnks аnd іt sounds аs іf tһere іs а…

NFL Wrіter Mаkes Inсredіbly Bold Suрer Bowl Predісtіon

Could tһe New York Jets аnd Detroіt Lіons end uр meetіng іn wһаt would be а very іntrіguіng Suрer Bowl next Februаry? Bleасһer Reрort’s Gаry Dаvenрort tһіnks…

Wһy Mаzі Smіtһ’s weіgһt іs so іmрortаnt for tһe Cowboys suссess

Mаzі Smіtһ һаd а seаson to forget іn 2023. Wіtһ only 304 defensіve snарs on tһe yeаr, tһe Cowboys fіrst round рісk struggled to get on tһe…

Could Baltimore Ravens Sign Pro Bowl Safety To Bolster Defense?