Cowboys FA who will be gone: Tony Pollard, RB
Tony Pollard and the 2024 running game have made this decision pretty easy on the Cowboys. In case they forgot their mistakes of yesteryear (re-signing Ezekiel Elliott), they were given a reminder again in 2023 that RBs just don’t really matter.
The NFL has taught the world RBs are often at the mercy of the blocking in front of them and individual runners offer little in value if the blocking in front of them isn’t good. Spoiler alert: the Cowboys' run blocking wasn’t good in 2024.
The blame for the Cowboys ineptitude largely falls on Mike Solari, Dallas’ offensive line coach, and not on Pollard. The shift to inside zone rushing didn’t play to Pollard’s strengths or his linemen’s strengths.
How much Pollard demands on the open market is difficult to say. He’s only 26-years-old but he’s coming off a poor season in which he struggled to regain pre-injury form. Before this season Pollard was regarded as one of the top big play RBs in the NFL so he’ll likely get plenty of offers this offseason.
The Cowboys interest will likely be linked to whoever is coaching in Dallas and the scheme in which they run. Given the Cowboys desire to cut costs, there’s a good chance the Cowboys look to the draft to fill their RB1 position in 2024.