3 Cowboys who didn't live up to their contract in 2023

These Cowboys didn’t perform to their expectations in 2023.
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Tony Pollard, Running Back

For two years, Cowboys fans wanted to see more Tony Pollard. As much success as Ezekiel Elliott had during his first stint with the team, Pollard simply had more burst. He would often come in and provide a spark but immediately sit in favor of Zeke.

The coaching staff finally struck a solid balance in 2022 as Pollard had 193 rushing attempts while Elliott had 231. That balance led to Zeke scoring 12 touchdowns as the primary goal line and short-yardage back. Pollard was able to turn the additional snaps into a monster season, rushing for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns.

That offseason, Elliott was released as the Cowboys could finally afford to get out of his contract. That meant Pollard would be the featured back but they were weary of another long-term deal. He was hit with the franchise tag as a short-term solution, paying him just north of $10 million.

Pollard put up 1,005 yards, making it two years in a row he crossed the 1,000-yard plateau. The problem is that he had a career-low 4.0 yards per attempt. He also had just six touchdowns and produced more than 100 yards in a game just once.

That’s why Dallas didn’t attempt to re-sign him in the offseason. Instead, Pollard signed a three-year deal worth $24 million to join the Tennessee Titans. Perhaps he turns it around there but he didn’t live up to his contract in 2023 and the Cowboys will again turn to Elliott, who was re-signed to a team-friendly deal after he spent last year with the New England Patriots.