Dallas Cowboys Running Back Tony Pollard underwent successful surgery Tuesday for the injury to his leg sustained in last weekend's Divisional round loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Those close to the team say he had a “tightrope procedure” to repair a high ankle sprain, but he also suffered a broken fibula that should heal without surgery or even a cast.
I hate to see this injury happen to one of the best young offensive players in football.
This now puts the Cowboys in an interesting situation. They can either sign Pollard to a contract, place the franchise tag on him, or let him walk as a free agent.
All three would come at a cost.
If the Cowboys do indeed tag Pollard, it would cost the Cowboys somewhere near $10m.
They are already paying a base salary for Ezekiel Elliott of $10.9m. We know that a team will pay to get TP in their building. He had a stellar year in a two-back system.
The Cowboys should not let a guy like Pollard walk. Ezekiel Elliott said he would be willing to take a pay cut to stay with Dallas. That is something to keep an eye on.
We are in a situation the Cowboys found themselves in with Zeke a few years ago.
We learned that paying a running back big money turned out to be a mistake. The Cowboys will have to pay a nice penny, even coming off an injury, to keep Pollard with the Dallas.
The question I ask myself is, do the Cowboys want to win now or not?
He rushed 193 times for 1,007 yards. He had 12 total touchdowns, nine on the ground and three receiving.
As I write this on the evening of January 26th, and you read it on January 27th, if I had to guess what happens with Pollard, it would be that the Cowboys use their franchise tag.
Whether or not Pollard would play on the tag remains to be seen.
Could this turn into a Dez Bryant situation?
After the injury, Pollard would be happy to play again. If the Cowboys don't bring him back, that will leave an aging Zeke with an undrafted free agent, Malik Davis, as the backup.
We saw how different the offense looked when Pollard got hurt; they looked for CeeDee Lamb, and that was nearly it.
Therefore, Pollard would be happy to play even if the Cowboys tagged him. A running back has a short shelf life, and the Cowboys have gotten as much out of that Zeke contract as they could.
The offense needs as many playmakers on it as possible next season, and if the Cowboys can't hang onto Pollard it might hurt them.
Pollard should be the first priority this off-season.
This topic will heat up as the summer months approach. Let's enjoy Dan Quinn returning as the defensive coordinator, and the slight hope we might lose Kellen Moore!
As long as Pollard is back and Zeke takes a pay cut, it's a win-win.