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#pounditWednesday, June 7, 2023

Cowboys make franchise tag decision

Jerry Jones at a press conference

Jul 26, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at training camp press conference at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are one step closer to making a major backfield change official.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday that the Cowboys have placed the franchise tag on Tony Pollard. That will guarantee the running back a salary of just over $10 million in 2023 if he signs the tender. The two sides can also work toward a long-term extension in the coming months.

The decision was not a surprise, but it reaffirmed that the Cowboys view Pollard — not Ezekiel Elliott — as their starting running back going forward.

Elliott has four years and $50 million remaining on his contract. Dallas could save $10.9 million against the salary cap if they cut the former No. 4 overall pick with a post-June 1 designation. There is also a chance Elliott could take a significant pay cut to remain with the Cowboys, but he will not be returning under his current contract.

Pollard had 1,007 rushing yards and added 371 receiving yards last season. He scored 12 total touchdowns. He outplayed Elliott, who averaged a career-worst 3.8 yards per carry. Pollard will enter 2023 as the starter whether Elliott remains in Dallas or not.


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