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Cowboys RB Tony Pollard ‘a little ahead of schedule’ in recovery: ‘Honestly, I’m feeling faster’

ByGuillermo Garcia

Jun 1, 2023
Cowboys RB Tony Pollard 'a little ahead of schedule' in recovery: 'Honestly, I'm feeling faster'

The Cowboys will need all the juice Pollard can squeeze out of his 6-foot, 209-pound frame this offseason, even reaching career highs in 2022 in nearly every offensive category, including passing. and total touchdowns (12). Dallas released two-time rusher Ezekiel Elliott this offseason and has limited options behind Pollard.

Other veteran running backs on the roster include Malik Davis, Ronald Jones and Rico Dowdle. Of those, Jones has the most experience with 505 NFL games, but only 17 of those came last season with the Chiefs. The Cowboys also drafted sixth-rounder Deuce Vaughn, but Vaughn’s lack of size at 176 pounds could limit his role — and he’s not even a guarantee to make the starting lineup.

So that likely means that as well as shouldering even more of the attacking load, Pollard will also be asked to take on a leadership role in the squad with Elliott gone. Pollard said his four seasons with Elliott prepared him for this moment.

“Having a vet like Zeke, the years I was here with him, it was a great learning experience to see how you handle things as a vet and the older guy in the room,” Pollard said. “He did a great job of paving the way for me and showing me how to lead those guys by example.”

It’s also his contract position. Pollard was tagged by the team, meaning he will play out this season on a one-year, $10.091 million deal and become a free agent again in 2024. It’s unclear if the Cowboys’ camp and Pollard will discuss a long-term extension before the 6 p.m. The July 17 deadline for tagged players, or whether the two sides will negotiate until next season.

Either way, Pollard isn’t too worried.

“I let my agent take care of it – do the dirty work – and I just come ready to work,” he said.

Despite all the pressure Pollard faces, he sees this season’s surge as a golden opportunity for him and the Cowboys.

“We’ve got a great quarterback here, but it feels good when they look at you personally as the leader back in the room,” Pollard said. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity and I’m ready to make the most of it.”