The Dallas Cowboys don't report to training camp for another two weeks, but the clock is ticking for them to extend one of their top playmakers.
It's been three months since the Cowboys franchise tagged Tony Pollard. That gave both parties ample time to negotiate a possible extension, but they now have a few days remaining before Monday's all-important deadline.
Unfortunately, there's been little to suggest that Pollard will get a new deal in time. While Pollard himself is on the record saying he'd love to sign a multi-year contract, one ESPN insider would be stunned if Dallas and Pollard reached a middle ground before Monday's cutoff.
It's looking increasingly likely that Pollard will play 2023 on the tag. That must come as a huge disappointment to Cowboys fans, right?
Not exactly. We polled fans on Twitter about whether they'd rather Pollard get extended this offseason or play 2023 under the franchise tag and revisit another tag (or a contract extension) next year.
Cowboys fans on Twitter are split on Tony Pollard's future
Here are the poll's results. It's worth noting that 'No extension" was initially winning in a landslide before a late comeback. Still, the results were somewhat surprising given how high Pollard is regarded amongst Cowboys Nation.
It's admittedly an extremely tough decision. While Pollard cemented himself in 2022 as one of the game's top running backs, he's coming off a serious injury: a fractured fibula and high-ankle sprain for which he underwent tightrope surgery.
The general consensus is Pollard is fully recovered and will be all systems go for camp (Pollard believes he's faster post-surgery).
Are the Cowboys right to play it safe and see how Pollard performs before making a multi-year commitment to the player? Or are they being overly cautious and possibly scarred by the contract they gave Ezekiel Elliott four years ago?
After all, Pollard won't demand anything close to what Zeke got. Given the current RB market, something like $10-12 million annually over three years with $15 million would get the job done. Saquon Barkley is struggling to squeeze $13 million AAV from the Giants, and Pollard doesn't have Saquon's resume.
For Pollard, this simply might be a matter of poor timing. Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs are all up for extensions, and RB doesn't even sniff quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback on the positional totem pole.
The important thing is there's (seemingly) zero frustration on Pollard's end. Perhaps he's already talked himself into playing under the $10.1 million tag and potentially hitting the jackpot next offseason if he lives up to expectations.