Cowboys Rumors: Tony Pollard Expected to Be Ready for Camp After Leg Injury Surgery

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 24, 2023

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) kneels on the field during an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Scot Tucker)
AP Photo/Scot Tucker

Tony Pollard's season ended in injury on Sunday, as the veteran running back broke his left fibula and suffered a high ankle sprain in the Dallas Cowboys' 19-12 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round.

But according to ESPN's Todd Archer, Pollard is expected to be fully healthy and ready to go "well before" training camp after undergoing surgery Tuesday.

The 25-year-old running back joins what should be a fascinating group of free-agent running backs this offseason, alongside the New York Giants' Saquon Barkley, Las Vegas Raiders' Josh Jacobs, Philadelphia Eagles' Miles Sanders and Detroit Lions' Jamaal Williams, among others.

Despite splitting time with Ezekiel Elliott in 2022, Pollard still rushed for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns in 16 games, adding 39 receptions for 371 yards and three scores. He was also named a Pro Bowler for the first time.

There's been more than a few suggestions that Pollard is the better option in the backfield than Elliott at this point, though the Cowboys would have to eat around $11.9 million in dead cap if they moved on from Zeke this offseason.

It remains to be seen if the team can justify dedicating even more cap space to Pollard, who probably could command both a bigger role and a bigger payday with a different team. One option the Cowboys do have and may utilize is the franchise tag, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Sunday:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLGameDay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLGameDay</a>: The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cowboys?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cowboys</a> want to keep RB Tony Pollard and the franchise tag is considered an option; As for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/49ers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#49ers</a>, a massive Nick Bosa extension is a priority for this offseason. <a href="https://t.co/gm2fNqmE8L">pic.twitter.com/gm2fNqmE8L</a>

The Cowboys also have other needs to consider after another year of failing to reach the Super Bowl. Upgrading at wide receiver behind CeeDee Lamb is undoubtedly one of them. Retaining tight end Dalton Schultz is another. There will be key defensive players to retain or replace.

So Pollard's future in Dallas is uncertain at best. Regardless of where he's playing next season, all indications are that he'll be ready to go for training camp.