Dan Quinn projected to steal beloved Cowboys player in free agency

Tony Pollard projected to leave in free agency for reunion with former Cowboys coach

Feb 5, 2024; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Commanders head coach Dan Quinn (M) poses for a picture
Feb 5, 2024; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Commanders head coach Dan Quinn (M) poses for a picture / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After taking multiple interviews during the coaching carousel, Dan Quinn was hired as the Washington Commanders head coach. Quinn's departure set the stage for the Dallas Cowboys to hire Mike Zimmer as their defensive coordinator.

It stands to reason Zimmer will recruit some of his former players to come play in Dallas, and you better believe Quinn will do the same given his ties to the Cowboys and robust reputation as a player's coach.

Everyone expects Jayron Kearse to reunite with Quinn in Washington given that his career took off under Quinn. A few other Cowboys defenders could follow Quinn to the nation's capital as well, but we wouldn't halt the conversation at strictly defensive players.

ESPN recently assembled predictions for the top 50 NFL free agents this offseason and thinks Quinn will steal Cowboys running back Tony Pollard.

Tony Pollard projected to leave Cowboys for Dan Quinn's Commanders

"With Antonio Gibson heading to free agency, the Commanders could target someone like Pollard on a short-term deal to create a backfield rotation with Brian Robinson Jr. I like that duo. Washington could then reduce the workload for Pollard while maximizing his dual-threat ability. "

This would be a gut-punch for the Cowboys.

While the Commanders have been a laughingstock for decades, they're stock is finally on the rise under new owner Josh Harris. They have the No. 2 overall pick in April and will in all likelihood land a franchise quarterback to complement an already-talented roster. Not to mention, they have a whopping $73.649 million in cap space, which is the most of any team by $4 million.

None of this means they'll pose a threat in the NFC East in 2024, but the idea of Pollard joining the Cowboys' up-and-coming rivals is anything but fun. ESPN makes a salient point about Pollard being a perfect complement to power back Brian Robinson Jr. This would allow Pollard to return to his RB2 role where he thrived in Dallas.

Say what you will about Pollard's struggles in 2023, but he finished the season on a high note. Over the final seven regular season games, Pollard ranked top-five among RBs in missed tackles forced and yards after contact per attempt, per Pro Football Focus. It's clear he didn't have the same burst and explosion early in the campaign coming off offseason ankle surgery and a fractured fibula.

A full year removed from that devastating injury, Pollard would add a dynamic element to an already-prolific Washington offense. It'd be quite the turn of events if Pollard, a longtime fan favorite in Dallas, became a thorn in the Cowboys side.

More Cowboys analysis