3. Tony Pollard, running back
One of the most prominent pending free agents for the Dallas Cowboys is running back Tony Pollard. The Cowboys obviously think very highly of Pollard and franchise tagged him last offseason.
Unfortunately for Pollard (and running backs around the NFL), the franchise tag is a relatively inexpensive way for teams to buy themselves another year of not having to pay players at that position a premium for their services.
Pollard was outstanding in 2022 when he was running in tandem with Ezekiel Elliott. He posted a career-best 1,378 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns, earning his first career Pro Bowl selection in the process.
Without Elliott in the mix in 2023, Pollard was expected to take on an even more expanded role, but the results did not come along with that. Pollard's overall touches increased from 232 touches in 2022 to 307 touches in 2023. Yes, he was coming off of an injury, but he averaged a career-worst 4.3 yards per touch and had just six total touchdowns compared to last season.
His efficiency, or lack thereof, should ultimately lead the Cowboys to reset at the running back position in 2024. Where does that leave Pollard? Well, I think the Cowboys will let him leave in free agency, especially with a new coaching staff potentially coming in. Even if the Cowboys maintain the status quo with Mike McCarthy, there should be wholesale changes made at the skill positions offensively with a host of new running backs and receivers coming in for 2024.
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