2022 might not be Tony Pollard’s last season with the Cowboys after all

Entering the year of the contract, it looks like the eventual conclusion 2022 will be Tony Pollard’s last with the Dallas Cowboys. With Ezekiel Elliott still handling the lion’s share of the workload and shutting down through the 2026 season, it appears that Pollard’s future at Dallas does not exist beyond this year. This thinking could have been a bit premature.

Stephen Jones, Cowboys executive vice president, said recently at 96.7 The Ticket that they are yet to hold contract extension talks with Pollard, who is in the final year of his start-up deal.

Jones said, “There are a few things as we go forward that we just have to look at, in terms of where the running back and the cover is and how that works, in terms of Zeke and Tony and how we two work together. So, we’ll continue to see how that evolves as the year goes on. But The goal is to have Tony Pollard come back here next year.”

There’s a lot to take in here, but the final part about “the goal is Tony Pollard coming back here next year” should strike a chord with those of us who want to see the No. 20 continue to wear Cowboys after the 2022 season. But, Stephen says Jones, there are a few things they need to look at moving forward.

Working out the blueprints for everything is the biggest hurdle the Dallas Cowboys have to discover as to whether or not to extend Tony Pollard’s contract. There is no doubt that his playing alone warrants consideration of such an extension, but it is Ezekiel Elliott’s massive and inflated contract that could have the most influence on that decision.

Zeke still has five years left on his huge contract that he signed in 2019. However, if the Cowboys were to move on from him in 2023, that would cap their salary by around $12 million and save them nearly $5 million in space. They can also set it after the June 1 cut, and spread that cap over two years, ultimately saving them nearly $11 million.

That Cowboys “outside” Zeke contract is similar to the one they had with Amary Cooper in this off season. That alone opens the door slightly for a possible Tony Pollard return. Even if it did, Dallas would still swallow a large chunk of his number 21 contract and would still have to sign Pollard on an extension.

According to spotrac.com, Tony Pollard’s next contract should bring in approximately $6.3 million annually. If the Cowboys decide to save nearly $5 million by splitting from Zeke, as we mentioned earlier, that savings could be put toward an extension of Pollard’s contract. Such a move would mean that No. 20 would become the new No. 1 for Dallas in a row.

There’s a lot to consider between now and when Tony Pollard officially becomes a free agent at the end of the 2022 season, but the fact that Stephen Jones says the Cowboys are even considering a contract extension for him is interesting to say the least. Now, all we have to do is sit back and wait and see what happens.

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