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2019 Cowboys Rookie RB Tony Pollard Signs 4-Year Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2019

MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 23: Tony Pollard #1 of the Memphis Tigers celebrates a touchdown during the second half on November 23, 2018 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated Houston 52-31 to win the AAC West Division. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Fourth-round draft pick Tony Pollard formally signed his rookie contract with the Dallas Cowboys on Friday.

Pollard was the first 2019 draftee to put pen to paper for the Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys @dallascowboys

Fourth-round pick Tony Pollard is the first of the #DallasCowboys eight draft picks to officially sign his contract on Friday. #EarnTheStar → https://t.co/vfXD1YgKSF https://t.co/dJN0cP5E6I

The details of his contract are largely laid out by the collective bargaining agreement. The 128th overall selection carried a total value of almost $3.2 million over four years, including a $670,332 signing bonus, per Over the Cap.

Pollard ran for 941 yards and nine touchdowns while catching 104 passes for 1,292 yards and nine scores in three years at Memphis. He was Darrell Henderson's backup in his sophomore and junior seasons, which prevented him from showing what he could do on the ground with a high number of carries.

While Pollard will obviously be the secondary option behind Ezekiel Elliott, his role in Dallas may be larger than some expect.

"I know people think he's going to be this gadget guy," Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown said, per USA Today's Jori Epstein. "He's more than that. He's bigger than what you think he is and he runs powerful for a guy you think is a gadget guy. I think he can do all our runs and more."

Although Elliott only turns 24 in July, the Cowboys are smart to be proactive about his usage. Since entering the league in 2016, Elliott is first in both carries (868) and overall touches (1,003).

Elliott was an All-Pro and led the league in rushing yards per game (95.6) for the third straight season in 2018. He remains one of the NFL's best running backs, and there's little reason to expect any decline in 2019.

In order to help Elliott's longevity, though, the Cowboys will need to lean a little less heavily on the 2016 first-round pick. Pollard's arrival should help the team achieve that goal, especially in terms of easing some of pressure off Elliott in the passing game.

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