4 Cowboys free agents who should return in 2023

Donovan Wilson, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Donovan Wilson, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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Cowboys, Tony Pollard
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Tony Pollard, Running Back

The debate between Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott should be squashed now that the coaching staff seems to have finally figured out they are allowed to use both players. Rather than just letting Pollard get carries when Elliott is out, they’ve been alternating the two and rolling with the hot hand.

While Elliott has been very good this season, Pollard has often been the one making the big plays. On the season, he has 852 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground and another 259 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver.

That’s the most rushing yards he’s had in a single season so far in his career, the most yards from scrimmage (1,111), and the most total touchdowns (10). That’s impressive enough on its own, but there are five games left for him to add to those totals.

Unfortunately, Dallas elected to wait until the final year of his contract to start giving him the ball more. That means Pollard is about to get paid for breaking out, and it might not be easy for Dallas to give him what he deserves.

With Elliott being paid an astronomical amount of money, the Cowboys would likely have to release him to afford Pollard. They could try and re-work his deal, and while that’s possible, it would take a huge sacrifice from Zeke, who is due more than $16 million next year. Instead, it’s likely they would have to make him a post-June 1 cut to free up roughly $10 million while still eating $6 million in dead money.

That would probably be the move for most franchises, but this isn’t most franchises. This is Jerry Jones’ franchise, and he loves him some Zeke.

Hopefully, someone can get through to him and make him understand they need to re-sign Pollard — mainly because he’s been the straw stirring the drink this year.