The Dallas Cowboys effort to advance to an NFC Conference Championship game for the first time in close to 30 years was thwarted by the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday. Central to that failed effort by the Cowboys was an injury to running back Tony Pollard. In the playoffs, the Cowboys had turned to Pollard as the featured back, nudging Ezekiel Elliott to a secondary role.
The reason was obvious: Pollard was producing at a much higher level. In fact, Pollard had put himself on the NFL map this season with a breakout 1,000-yard season and many explosive runs. He and CeeDee Lamb had become the Cowboys core playmakers on offense, and he was producing in the 49ers game at the time of his injury.
What initially looked like just an ankle injury turned out to also include a broken fibula. Pollard had surgery today.
Tony Pollard underwent surgery Tuesday on a broken left fibula and high ankle sprain he suffered in the Cowboys’ divisional round playoff loss to San Francisco, per source. Should be full strength well before training camp. Set to be an unrestricted free agent in March.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) January 24, 2023
The Cowboys running back situation is already heating up as an offseason issue. Ezekiel Elliott is reportedly willing to negotiate a pay cut from his mammoth contract in order to stay in Dallas. Whether that will make financial sense, or a clean separation is needed, remains to be seen.
Pollard's free agency is unlikely to be complicated by this injury as it looks like a pretty simple recovery that will just take time. The Cowboys are rumored to already be considering the franchise tag for Pollard.