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Will Cowboys Ticking Time Bombs at RB Affect 2022 Draft?

is one of the Cowboys' strongest positions ahead of the 2022 . But though RB is not a major concern for Dallas this , the contracts of and could cause it to get more attention next week than we'd otherwise assume.

With one of the league's best one-two punches at the RB position, Dallas could reasonably stand pat on their current talent in 2022. Not only do they have Zeke and Pollard to lean on but should be back next year after a hip knocked him out last season.

Even if Dowdle doesn't earn his job as RB3 back, options exist elsewhere on the roster such as newely-added veteran or other young prospects like or . Dallas doesn't have to add more talent to get through next season.

But if look beyond just 2022, Pollard's contract expires next March and Elliott's could make him a casualty. With those two big question marks looming, could the Cowboys use the upcoming draft to provide some insurance for the future?

Pollard's impending is a certainty. Dallas isn't going to give Tony a significant contract to stay while they're still paying Zeke franchise money. Unless the team is going to use the cap savings from releasing Elliott to fund a new deal for Pollard, he's probably paying for someone else in 2023.

How real is the possibility of the Cowboys cutting Zeke? They can save $4.9 million in cap space by releasing him outright next year or $10.9 million by making him a June-1st cut. Unless Elliott has a bounce-back season after fighting through and issues in 2021, Dallas may not be able to justify keeping him at a $16.7 million cap number in 2023.

Even if the Cowboys do part ways with Elliott, will they necessarily want to turn around and hand that money to Pollard in another second contract for a veteran back? Tony will turn 26 in April of 2023; how long before he starts to lose the speed that makes him so dangerous today?

You can see where the idea of drafting a RB now starts to make sense. It potentially provides an asset who can replace Tony Pollard in 2023 and even provide potential leverage in a decision about Ezekiel Elliott's future. Even if he doesn't much time this year, the hypothetical rookie RB would have three years left on a cheap contract from 2023-2025.

In no way am I suggesting that the Cowboys would use any of their early picks on a running back. This is all about Day 3; maybe a 4th or 5th-round pick at the most. We saw them draft Pollard with a 4th-rounder in 2019 and spend a 5th on in 2013. This is about the level of investment I think could happen now, and especially with Dallas currently holding four 5th-round picks in this draft.

Again, Dallas may not touch the RB position at all this year. Or at the most, perhaps they throw a late-round selection at it in the same vein as , , or in more recent drafts.

But with Tony Pollard's contract expiring and Ezekiel Elliott's now grossly outweighing his production, big changes could be on the horizon. If the Cowboys are looking ahead to 2023, an early Day 3 pick at running back is not hard to imagine.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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