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Cowboys news: RB1 solidified as Tony Pollard officially signs franchise tag

The latest news on the Dallas Cowboys.

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Pollard Officially Signs Cowboys Franchise Tag -, Patrik Walker

Welcome back, running back No. 1.

FRISCO, TX — There will not be any ambiguity on if Tony Pollard will take the field for the Dallas Cowboys in 2023. The team applied the franchise tag to the Pro Bowl running back just ahead of the league’s deadline in early March and, just ahead of the calendar turning to the month of April, Pollard has officially guaranteed he’ll be in uniform in Dallas.

On Thursday, he officially signed the franchise tag, and that means he’ll earn $10.1 million next season unless a multi-year deal is struck with the Cowboys prior to the NFL deadline of July 17.

It also promises to be Pollard’s throne at the position, once fully recovered from a fractured leg suffered in January, with former two-time NFL rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott having been released last week.

Report: Bengals Came Close To Adding Cowboys Quarterback Cooper Rush In Free Agency - All Bengals, Russ Heltman

Glad that he wanted to stay home.

CINCINNATI — Brandon Allen has been the Bengals’ backup quarterback for the past three seasons, but Cincinnati reportedly got close to adding competition for him in recent weeks.

“From the sound of things,” Nick Eatman wrote for the Dallas team site. “The Cowboys got pretty lucky that he (Rush) returned. He was getting close to taking another offer with either the Raiders or Bengals. But I don’t think he ever really wanted to leave. And sometimes, just comfort alone is hard to beat. Cooper Rush is a solid backup that is a proven winner.”

Dallas re-signed him to a two-year, $5 million deal.

Cowboys hope Stephon Gilmore, Brandin Cooks lead way to Super Bowl - ESPN, Todd Archer

Proven winners can bring a different type of leadership.

...Three of the Cowboys’ acquisitions thus far in the offseason have played in a combined six Super Bowls.

Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks were teammates when the New England Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. They competed against each other the next season when Gilmore’s Patriots beat Cooks’ Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Ronald Jones led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in rushing when they won Super Bowl LV and was a Kansas City reserve in February when the Chiefs beat the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

“I think when you have guys that’s been in it, saw the process, I think the biggest thing that you can preach is trusting the process,” Cooks said, “and not talking about it, but more so letting your work and your actions talk about it throughout the week, taking it one day at a time, keep your head down and grind, and then when you look up, that’s when you’re there. But don’t worry about looking too far out in the future.”

Ronald Jones on Homecoming: ‘It Means Everything’ -, Patrik Walker

We need a poll on how many NFL players were Cowboys fans at one point or another.

FRISCO, TX — Ezekiel Elliott won’t be in a Dallas Cowboys uniform when the 2023 season gets underway in September, and for the first time since 2016. The decision to release the former two-time NFL rushing champ creates a gaping void opposite Tony Pollard that needs filling, and the club hopes Ronald Jones can help them put some jelly back into that donut.

Jones, 25, has already won two Super Bowls in his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs, and his rare mix of youth and championship experience could serve the position group well in Dallas.

Jones provides the Cowboys with the ability to truly push the competition on the depth chart behind Pollard and, worst-case, a proven veteran who still has a ton of tread left on his tires with the ability to be the Robin to Pollard’s version of Batman in 2023.

That would mean quite a bit to the former high school standout at McKinney North, located only minutes northeast of downtown Dallas.

Would Cowboys trade Gallup for Hopkins? Here’s why it’s unlikely - CowboysWire, K.D. Drummond

You can only work the cap so much.

Even if Dallas were able to rework Hopkins deal to a structure similar to Cooks’ revised contract, there still would be a sizable cap hit for 2023.

Cooks was originally scheduled to make $18 million for 2023, but the Texans ate $6 million before trading him. Dallas was facing a $12 million cap hit but worked out a new deal and dropped it to $6 million.

Say they worked out something as terrific with Hopkins, which I doubt because Hopkins is set to make $19.4 million and the Cardinals don’t seem inclined to do a similar favor to get rid of him. Even if Dallas could get his hit down to $6 million, adding Gallup to the trade makes that a $16 million cap hit.

That is currently more than the Cowboys’ cap space ($15.7 million).

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