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All eyes are now on Ezekiel Elliott after the Cowboys tag Tony Pollard

Things are about to heat up around the , the heat I have been waiting for. With the team placing the on Monday afternoon, the focus now shifts to and I have my popcorn ready.

Let's get right to it. Zeke is set to count for $16.4 million against the with a $10.4 million base salary.

Yikes! I have talked about this time and time again.

They have two options: 1) make Elliott take a gigantic pay cut, or 2) simply him. 

Zeke told the team after the season ended that he would be willing to take that pay cut to stay with the team.

Look, I like Elliott.

He's nowhere near what he used to be and just doesn't have much left, but he can still punch the ball in the end zone and pick up short-yardage first downs. That is all they need from him.

Jerry Jones

When Jerry did his favorite thing last week (speaking to the media), he told folks that Elliott's knee was the primary reason for him setting a career-low 876 rushing yards last season.

Although that probably added to the problem, I just don't think he has that burst anymore.

With Pollard receiving the franchise tag, I would guess the team is working on a long-term contract.

I really hope they learn from what they got themselves into with Zeke's huge payday, and do not dish out a ton of money for him.

The first order of business is to create space and get under the cap.

If the Cowboys cut Elliott, they would save $4.86 million. If they designate him a post-June 1 cut, they would save $10.9 million. Call me crazy, but I think they could rework his deal and save even more money by letting him take a pay cut.

The one issue I see if Elliott stays on the roster with calling plays is he may feel like he HAS to find a way for Zeke to make an impact.

I don't want them to force Elliott on the field if he isn't needed. If he does indeed stay on the roster, make a package for him.

Let him be the great pass blocker he is, and let him go to work in short yardage.

He averaged 3.9 yards per carry a season ago. That is just who he is now. He does not need to be an every down back.

Pollard needs to be the starter, and Zeke can be used when needed.

I just wish Pollard was a little bit better in pass blocking — that's his only huge issue.

3 Ways Dallas can Utilize Tony Pollard More
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 02: Tony Pollard #20 of the Dallas Cowboys runs with the ball against the during a game at the the Caesars Superdome on December 02, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

One other point of note: I will love this a heck of a lot more if Pollard can make a full recovery from the high ankle sprain he had surgery on.

At this moment, the Cowboys are now paying $27.68 million in 2023 for two running backs. In a passing league, this is not an ideal situation.

If they go the route of releasing him, that would leave them with Pollard and . This class is also quite deep, so if they need to draft someone, they could.

Nonetheless, all eyes have now shifted to Ezekiel Elliott. His representatives said they would determine his value at the combine. But this very well could drag out until June if the team wants to cut him.

Shane Taylor
Shane Taylor
Cowboys fan from the Midwest. Writing is fun, Staff writer for Inside The Star. Follow me on twitter @ShaneTaylor43

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