Cowboys commitment to Tony Pollard means no Zeke or Bijan?

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

If reports are to be trusted and strategies stay intact, Tony Pollard will be returning to the Dallas Cowboys in 2023. Instead of a long-term deal, the Cowboys are apparently planning to use the franchise tag on their 2022 breakout player.

The tag buys time for the Cowboys decision makers as they weigh the pros and cons to a post-Pollard Cowboys offense. It lets them stay fairly commitment-free during Mike McCarthy’s make-or-break season and avoids the mistake Dallas once made when they re-upped with Ezekiel Elliott a few years back.

The Cowboys commitment to Tony Pollard may indicate Ezekiel Elliott is on his way out and Bijan Robinson is no longer an option at 26.

With Pollard a free agent and Zeke on deal which far exceeds his value, perhaps both are not long to wear The Star?

Elliott has discussed his willingness to take a pay cut to stay in Dallas so the potential exists he’ll accept a financial and role demotion. But if the Cowboys and Zeke’s expectations don’t match, perhaps this is the end for Zeke?

In much the same way Bijan Robinson’s fate could be sealed with the Cowboys. The Longhorns standout is the top running back on the market and given the recent devaluation at RB, he could slip all the way to Dallas at 26.

With Pollard locked in for 2023, it wouldn’t make much sense to draft Bijan now, even if TP is only in Dallas for a year more. Running back is generally an extremely replaceable position and first round picks have a history of “meh” in the NFL. Even generational talents are hard to justify when proven elite players like TP are already signed for the upcoming season.

The best part of RBs is they don’t require seasoning to be useful. Red shirting an early pick is tremendous waste of resources, even if the prospect figures to be elite.

Dominos are falling and TP looks like he’s staying in Dallas one more season. The Cowboys can’t afford to keep Zeke and use a top-150 pick on RB so the chances are good it’ll be one or the other. If te Cowboys do indeed triple down, it could just another example they are stuck in the 90s and trying to recreate an era that has long moved by.

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It a scary time for many Dallas Cowboys. Investment in the RB position is something that has been debunked years ago so the idea of paying Pollard and using limited resources on anyone else is frightening. Then again, the Cowboys need to think long-term and shouldn’t hesitate to use a Day 3 pick in an ultra-deep RB class because stars will inevitably fall.