Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says Tony Pollard remains an integral part of the team. GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / TOM PENNINGTON


  • The Cowboys reportedly plan to use the franchise tag on Tony Pollard if they can't agree on a long-term deal
  • The Cowboys need to decide on the fate of Ezekiel Elliott, who is coming off a so-so season
  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did not comment on franchise tag report but said Pollard remains integral for the team

The Dallas Cowboys have things to address, and one of them is keeping their running back core together.

One player the Cowboys intend to keep, at least until the next NFL season, is Tony Pollard. After his remarkable showing last season, Dallas is reportedly exhausting all options to keep the 25-year-old running back.

According to unnamed sources cited by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Cowboys will use the franchise tag on the fourth-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft if both sides are unable to agree to a long-term deal by the deadline, which is Tuesday. International Business Times could not independently verify this information.

"Dallas has been clear the tag is an option, and they aren't in the business of letting great players walk. Pollard will be there in 2023," Rapoport tweeted Friday.

When asked by reporters Friday about the Pollard situation, Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones declined to comment on the report. However, Jones did admit that the 2022 Pro Bowler remains an "integral" part of the Dallas Cowboys.

A franchise tag is an option and something that would prevent Pollard from potentially hitting free agency. Several NFL teams are likely to take an interest in the running back, especially since he is coming off an impressive showing that saw him post a career-high 1,007 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns despite splitting carries with Ezekiel Elliott.

Worth noting as well is that Pollard is still recovering from a broken fibula, which he incurred during the Cowboys' playoff loss against the San Francisco 49ers. However, it is believed that the Tennessee native will be up and about once the Cowboys' training camp starts.

If Dallas proceeds to place the franchise tag on Pollard, the Cowboys will no longer be able to use this option on other impending free agents such as Dalton Schultz and Donovan Wilson.

Further, this potential move also raises questions about the future of Elliott. The 27-year-old player recorded a career-low 876 rushing yards and averaged a career-worst 3.8 yards per carry.

The three-time Pro Bowler will carry a $16.7 million salary cap hit in the 2023 season, according to OverTheCap.

The Cowboys could also save $4.9 million in cap space should they decide to release Elliott.

Ezekiel Elliott Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys need to make a decision on Ezekiel Elliott who is coming off a poor NFL season. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images