2. Tony Pollard, Running Back
It's hard to think of any team that's mismanaged a running back's career worse than the Cowboys did for Tony Pollard. A fourth-round pick from Memphis in 2019, they spent three seasons hardly letting him see the field. They made sure Ezekiel Elliott, who they gave a comically oversized extension to in 2019, continued to get all the touches.
Not only did this run Elliott into the ground but it kept Pollard from seeing the field enough while he was busting out more than five yards per attempt. Then in 2022 when Elliott had a hard time staying in the field and was clearly a couple of steps slower, they finally gave Pollard the ball enough that he topped 1,000 yards on the ground and he was their most explosive offensive weapon.
Still, they made sure Zeke got the goal line touches and he finished with 12 touchdowns because of it. As for Pollard, he still had 12 when you added his three rushing scores but he should have been able to do more.
Unfortunately, he then suffered a fractured fibula and high ankle sprain in their playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers which visibly slowed him down early in the year as he worked his way back. By the time he seemed to be up to speed, the offensive line was a mess, and that led to a frustrating campaign for the fifth-year back.
Pollard did manage 1,005 yards but topped 100 in a game just once. He also had just 4.0 yards per attempt which was the lowest of his career.
The narrative, of course, became that he was never a feature back and Dallas was right to use Elliott. The truth is, they waited until it was too late to give him his shot and now he will likely be gone in 2024. That would be a disappointing end to what should have been a great career in Big D for Pollard.