The Pro Bowl will look a lot different his year. What hasn’t changed, though is the Dallas Cowboys being well-represented in the end-of-season event.
The Cowboys have a number of returning players, including Zack Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, Trevon Diggs, Micah Parsons and CeeDee Lamb, and two first-timers, including Tony Pollard and KaVontae Turpin, who was named the NFC’s return specialist starter after spending last season in the USFL.
Like any fan, we could wax poetic for hours on Dallas’ Pro Bowlers.
Martin has a bust reserved in Canton, while Parsons might be the best pound-for-pound defensive player in the NFL. CeeDee Lamb has silenced a lot of folks who were skeptical if he could replace Amari Cooper as the team’s No. 1 receiver, D-Law is elite despite his sack output suggesting otherwise, and Diggs’ coverage has been so sticky every week that QBs seldom throw his direction.
Of course, Turpin and Pollard are the clear standouts. Both free agents at season’s end, both players ideally will be back in Dallas in 2023.
It’d be foolish of the Jones family to let either player get away, and it doesn’t sound like Jerry Jones wants Pollard around for the long-term. Check out the message Jones gave Pollard while congratulating him on his first Pro Bowl.
Did Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hint at a contract extension for Pro Bowler Tony Pollard?
There’s nothing Jones loves more than giving fans and the media quotes to chew on, and floating cryptic words like “future” while saluting Pollard for making the Pro Bowl will undoubtedly get people talking. It sure sounds like Jones is keen on getting the breakout star locked up for the foreseeable future, though.
A franchise tag is sadly a possibility, too.
In the offseason, Dalton Schultz became the seventh player Dallas has hit with the franchise tag. It’s unclear what the future holds for Schultz, but the Cowboys ultimately worked out long-term deals with DeMarcus Lawrence ($105 million) and Dak Prescott ($160 million) after one season of playing on the tag.
Paying running backs top dollar is a quickly-fading trend in the NFL, but Pollard is almost an outlier in that regard. Running backs have a shorter self life relative to most positions. The decline typically begins once they hit their fourth or fifth season as the starter (Zeke Elliott is a prime example).
While Pollard will turn 26 in April, he hasn’t topped more than 200 carries in a season over his four years. Before Week 16 against the Eagles, Pollard had logged 494 career carries. For context, Elliott had a whopping 1,169 carries on his tires by the end of Year 4. He led the league in carries twice during that span, and those numbers don’t even account for his workload as a pass-catcher.
It’s like we said: Pollard is an outlier given he was in Zeke’s shadow for his first three seasons. Regardless of what happens with Elliott in the offseason, extending Pollard should be a priority for Jerry Jones and company.
Hopefully, Jerry puts his money where his mouth is.