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NFL Cowboys and Tony Pollard: Uncertain Contract Talks Ahead
August 2, 2023
Can the Dallas Cowboys Secure a Long-Term Contract with Tony Pollard?
The Dallas Cowboys are unlikely to reach a long-term agreement with Tony Pollard before the franchise tag deadline, which means Pollard will play the 2023 season on the $10.1 million franchise tag he signed in March. While the Cowboys value Pollard and expect him to be a part of their roster for the upcoming season, negotiating a long-term deal presents challenges. Pollard has proven to be an explosive and efficient player, outshining Ezekiel Elliott during their time sharing the backfield.
His 5.74 yards per touch average ranks him among the top non-quarterbacks in the league, showcasing his ability to make plays and generate significant yardage. Pollard has also excelled in breaking tackles and gaining yards after contact, solidifying his impact as a versatile running back. Additionally, he stands alongside Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, and Alvin Kamara as one of only four full-time backs to average at least 1.5 yards per route run.
Despite Pollard’s impressive performance, negotiating a long-term deal for a running back remains challenging, particularly for the Cowboys, who recently dealt with the consequences of Ezekiel Elliott’s substantial contract. The team might be hesitant to commit to another large financial investment in the running back position. Furthermore, Pollard is coming off a broken leg suffered during the Cowboys’ Divisional Round loss to the 49ers, which could have influenced the team’s decision to proceed cautiously.
Although a long-term deal is uncertain, the $10.1 million Pollard is set to earn in 2023 represents a significant increase in his career earnings. As a former fourth-round pick, this payday demonstrates his growth and contributions to the team. While it may not provide the long-term security Pollard desires, it recognizes his value and impact on the field.
Regardless of the outcome of long-term contract negotiations, Pollard’s role in the Cowboys’ offense will play a significant part in shaping the team’s future and impacting the NFL lines and odds throughout the season.
Dallas Cowboys’ Path to NFC Representation and Defensive Dominance in 2023
The best-case scenario for the Dallas Cowboys involves a shot at the Super Bowl, although winning the championship seems challenging due to the AFC’s dominant teams. Nevertheless, Dallas has a realistic chance of representing the NFC, provided they can overcome the Jimmy Johnson curse and resolve the stalemate between Jerry Jones and Johnson regarding the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor.
On paper, the Cowboys boast enough talent to compete against formidable teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers. While it remains uncertain if the switch from Kellen Moore to Mike McCarthy as head coach will yield positive results, one can reasonably expect the Cowboys’ defense to maintain a high level of play in 2023. While there may be a slight regression due to the unpredictable nature of defensive performance, Dallas ranked sixth in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) and seventh in weighted DVOA last season.
Anticipating a strong season from Dak Prescott, it is likely that his interception rate will return to the range of 1.5% to 1.8%, which was the norm for him from 2018 to 2021. It would be surprising to see him lead the league in interceptions again with an alarmingly high rate of nearly 4%.
Key Players and Health Factors Shaping the Dallas Cowboys’ Road to Playoff Contention and Super Bowl Dreams
In the receiving corps, CeeDee Lamb is expected to build upon his impressive 1,359-yard season and establish himself as one of the league’s top young receivers. Additionally, Tony Pollard’s return from his broken leg injury is anticipated to be accompanied by his explosive playmaking ability and efficiency, even with a slightly increased workload. The addition of Luke Schoonmaker as a seam target and the speed brought by Cooks address areas of need for the Cowboys from the previous season.
A crucial factor in the Cowboys’ success would be the health of Tyron Smith, who ideally remains available for at least 10 games. This would allow Dallas to field their best offensive line combination for the majority of the season. However, it also hinges on Terence Steele making a full recovery from his season-ending injury and potentially filling the role of the left guard while also serving as the team’s swing tackle.
In summary, the best-case scenario for the Dallas Cowboys involves a competitive run in the playoffs and a chance to contend for the Super Bowl. The team’s success depends on key factors such as overcoming historical curses, resolving internal conflicts, and the performances of key players like Prescott, Lamb, Pollard, and the offensive line. As the season unfolds, NFL Odds will reflect the Cowboys’ progress and their potential to fulfill this best-case scenario.