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Tony Pollard's franchise tag delights Cowboys fans and experts, avoiding Ezekiel Elliott repeat

Tony Pollard, along with several other running backs in the league, will not be receiving a contract extension for the upcoming 2023 season. However, this decision seems to have pleased Dallas Cowboys fans.

As the NFL's 4:00 PM deadline for franchise-tagged players passed on Monday, it became apparent that Pollard and others would not be granted extensions by their respective teams.

Pollard's case was particularly unexpected, considering his acceptance of the franchise tag without protest. It is widely speculated that the Dallas Cowboys will replace the tag with a new contract for him.

Interestingly, some Redditors are applauding this move, believing that the franchise is wisely avoiding a repeat of the Ezekiel Elliott situation. One Redditor expressed their satisfaction, stating, "Fine with me, giving that contract to Zeke was a mistake. I'm glad to see we aren't repeating it." Another user added, "Maybe a hot take, but I think the tag is a better deal than he'd find on the open market."

It's not just the fans who support Tony Pollard's franchise tag; even David Helman, a Cowboys Insider for Fox Sports, backs the decision. He views it as a rare win-win scenario for both the club and the player. While acknowledging that players often dislike the franchise tag due to its lack of long-term security, Helman highlights Pollard's unique situation as a fourth-round pick. The tag will pay him nearly triple his career earnings, and given the current state of the running-back market, it offers a favorable deal. In fact, Pollard's $10.09 million in guaranteed money surpasses all but two other running backs in the league this year, namely Miles Sanders and David Montgomery.

Cowboys opt for flexibility at running back position, citing lessons from Ezekiel Elliott's mega extension

Moreover, compared to top free agents in other positions, their annual salaries of around $6 million are significantly lower. This positions Pollard to earn a substantial paycheck for a running back in today's market and potentially secure another lucrative contract next year. For the Cowboys, this marks the first time since their ill-fated mega extension for Ezekiel Elliott in 2019 that they have flexibility at the position.

Adding to the support for delaying an extension, Marcus Mosher and Landon McCool, co-hosts of 'Locked On Cowboys', suggest that waiting until 2024 would be beneficial for both parties. The Cowboys would like to assess the decline of the running back market, while Pollard hopes for a rebound or any favorable changes that would make a deal more enticing. However, the co-hosts are skeptical that such circumstances will arise anytime soon.

Overall, the decision not to extend Tony Pollard's contract has surprisingly pleased Cowboys fans, who believe it will prevent a repeat of past mistakes. The franchise tag is seen as a favorable arrangement for Pollard, offering him a substantial payday and an opportunity for a future lucrative contract. With support from insiders and podcast hosts, the consensus is that waiting until 2024 could be mutually beneficial for the player and the team.

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