Even without signing any outside free agents so far, the Dallas Cowboys have been active during the first wave of free agency. They retained Tony Pollard, Leighton Vander Esch, and Donovan Wilson. They also freed up cap space with restructures for Dak Prescott, Zack Martin, and Tyron Smith while releasing Ezekiel Elliott to clear up even more.
But the exciting moves have come via trade. Dallas landed a couple of stars in Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks. With all these moves going on, let’s look at which players were the biggest winners for the Cowboys.
3 biggest Cowboys winners from the first wave of free agency
3. Tony Pollard, Running Back
While most of the winners are due to arrivals, one player is a major winner thanks to a departure.
Not long after hitting Tony Pollard with the franchise tag, the Cowboys elected to part ways with Ezekiel Elliott. The former No. 4 overall selection from Ohio State had quite the career in Big D but he was also preventing them from putting the more electric — and efficient — Pollard on the field.
With Pollard now clearly the top running back, he’s finally going to get the touches he deserves — not only in the ground game but as a receiver as well.
Since being selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Pollard has averaged more than 5.1 yards per rushing attempt and 8.3 per reception. Even so, he wasn’t given the ball nearly enough until 2022 and he responded with 1,378 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns.
Dallas needs to add more depth behind Pollard but it’s past due for him to be the featured back.