The Dallas Cowboys will have to decide on several players' futures in the coming weeks and months. The expected first order of business is getting Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs signed before the end of training camp.
That's easier said than done, but the Cowboys will actually have to come to a decision on Tony Pollard's future first.
A first-time Pro Bowler in 2022, Pollard signed his $10.09 million franchise tag back in March, which gave Dallas ample time to negotiate a possible extension.
While Pollard himself is adamant about wanting to sign a multi-year deal, there's (seemingly) been zero movement toward an agreement as we approach the make-or-break point of the offseason calendar.
Franchise-tagged players have until 4 p.m. ET on July 17 to sign an extension and NFL insider Dan Graziano of ESPN doesn't have high hopes that Pollard and the Cowboys will find a middle ground before Monday's deadline.
The Cowboys are running out of time to extend Tony Pollard
"As mentioned above, I expect the Raiders to reengage with [Josh] Jacobs and the Giants to reengage with [Saquon] Barkley prior to the July 17 deadline. (The Cowboys likely will check in with Pollard's representatives, but I don't know that I would anticipate any real progress toward a deal there. Again, his situation is different.)"- Dan Graziano, ESPN
Pollard's situation is different given he doesn't have the track record of Jacobs and Barkley. But why should that dissuade the Cowboys from signing him to an extension? It's duly noted that paying running backs seldom works out, but Dallas could likely get Pollard at a serious discount given he'll command less than Jacobs and Barkley and considering the overall plummeted RB market.
Graziano's reporting makes it suggest that the Cowboys are content with letting Pollard play out the 2023 season on the tag and reassess his future and the position next offseason.
That's a bold decision given there's no obvious successor waiting in the pipeline. At the same time, though, it's just has hard to push back considering the mess Dallas got itself in by placating to Ezekiel Elliott's contract demands.
While a large contingent of Cowboys fans want Pollard in Dallas for the next two or three years, the player seems fine playing out the season making $10.1 million guaranteed and it's important to remember he's coming off tight-rope ankle surgery and a fractured fibula suffered in the playoffs.
With at least three players ahead of him in the contract extension pecking order, it's looking increasingly likely that Pollard will play out 2023 on the tag and head for unrestricted free agency once again next offseason.
Let's hope that changes before Monday.