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Will Tony Pollard be franchised by Cowboys?

We discuss if the Dallas Cowboys will use the franchise or transition tag on running back Tony Pollard.

NFL: Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on RB Tony Pollard. Pollard will make $10.09 million for the 2023, while TE Dalton Schultz looks more likely to move on in free agency now.

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard had a career season in 2022 while racking up 1,007 rushing yards, 371 receiving yards, and 12 total touchdowns. His 5.2 yard per carry average ranked third among qualified running backs. In the wake of that breakout season, the Cowboys need to make a decision about Pollard — whose contract is up.

One option is to give Pollard the franchise tag, which would extend him until next offseason. We’ll break down if that makes sense for the Cowboys and what is expected to happen.

NFL teams were able to start tagging players starting on Tuesday, February 21st with a deadline of March 7th.

Will Tony Pollard receive the franchise tag in 2023?

UPDATE: The Cowboys are expected to place the franchise tag on Pollard if a deal isn’t agreed to by the Tuesday deadline, per Ian Rapoport.

The answer isn’t straightforward. It’s complicated by the fact that Pollard underwent surgery after sustaining a leg injury against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL playoffs. Pollard is expected to be recovered in time for training camp, but this is a small twist in offseason roadmap for both sides.

If Pollard receives the franchise tag, he’ll be guaranteed just over $10 million next season. It will also give the team a chance to discuss a long-term deal before the next deadline of July 15. If a long-term contract isn’t reach before then, the franchise tag is locked in for the 2023 season.

Early reports suggest that Pollard will indeed receive the franchise tag before March 7. That seems to be the most likely outcome, as the Cowboys seem motivated to retain Pollard for next season — and potentially beyond. After the results he posted last season, it’s hard to blame them.