AFC Contender Could Gift Cowboys Perfect Tony Pollard Replacement

There's a decent chance that RB Tony Pollard will leave Dallas in free agencys. Fortunately, one AFC contender might have the perfect replacement available for the Cowboys.

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor paces the sideline in the third quarter of an NFL Week 2
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor paces the sideline in the third quarter of an NFL Week 2 / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

With the NFL's free agency period opening in less than a week, the Dallas Cowboys have a lot of decisions to make. America's Team has 13 unrestricted free agents hitting the open market, per Spotrac, including starting running back Tony Pollard.

Pollard, who's been with the franchise since 2019, is an unrestricted free agent after being underwhelming in his year as the Cowboys' lead back. Dallas opted not to place the franchise tag on the 26-year-old, meaning Pollard will hit free agency on March 13, leaving the Cowboys looking for a new RB1.

Fortunately, the perfect Pollard replacement might be available.

Cowboys Rumors: Dallas Should Target Bengals RB Joe Mixon

There's a possibility that Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon could be hitting the open market this offseason. NBC Sports' Matthew Berry reports that sources at the NFL Draft Combine told him that "Mixon would be released" by the Bengals after spending seven seasons with the franchise.

According to Spotrac, Cincinnati can save $6.1 million by releasing Mixon before March 18 or after June 1.

It's hard not to like the idea of Mixon lining up in Dallas' backfield.

The former Pro Bowl rusher had one of his better performances with the Bengals in 2023, turning 257 carries into 1,034 yards and nine touchdowns while adding 52 receptions for 376 yards and three more scores. His 12 rushing and receiving TDs were the second-highest amount of his career while his 1,410 scrimmage yards were his second-best output since 2020.

For comparison, Pollard had 1,316 scrimmage yards and six total TDs while only seeing two fewer touches than Mixon.

Additionally, the former Oklahoma Sooner is bigger than Pollard, making him more suited for a three-down role. Mixon is also only nine months older so it isn't as if the Cowboys are getting some washed-up, mid-30s RB. A fully healthy Mixon could do a lot of damage behind Dallas' offensive line even if the likes of Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz don't return.

But will it be enough to end the Super Bowl? Time will tell.

Heading into free agency, Dallas is tied for the third-best odds to win the Super Bowl next February on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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