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Cowboys news: Long-term deal with Tony Pollard seems very unlikely

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NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys not expected to reach long-term deal with franchise-tagged Tony Pollard, per report - Jared Dubin, CBS Sports

The deadline is almost here and a long-term deal with Tony Pollard seems very unlikely.

The Dallas Cowboys surely expect to have running back Tony Pollard in the fold for the 2023 season, but if they want to have him for longer than that, they may need to wait a while to hammer out a new contract agreement. According to a report from ESPN, the Cowboys and Pollard are not expected to agree on a long-term deal before Monday’s franchise-tag deadline.

If the deadline comes and goes without a long-term pact between the team and its new lead running back, Pollard will play out the 2023 season on the $10.1 million franchise tag he signed back in March, when the team originally used the tag on him.

In four seasons with Dallas after being selected in the fourth round out of Memphis back in 2019, Pollard has totaled 2,616 yards and seven touchdowns on 510 carries, adding 1,008 yards and five more scores on 121 receptions. Despite largely working behind incumbent running back Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard was clearly the more explosive and efficient player during the pair’s time sharing the backfield.

Spagnola: Taking second-year jump into relevancy - Mickey Spagnola,

Sam Williams continues to get picked as a Cowboys breakout player in 2023.

Going with Sam Williams to emerge on defense and Jake Ferguson to make everyone forget Dalton Schultz, or at least not having a bunch of people seven games into the season whining about the Cowboys letting the veteran tight end leave in free agency.

Let’s start with Sam, who needs to become Sam The Man. Considering his lack of experience at defensive end and playing just 23.8 percent of the snaps as a rookie, well, the second-round draft choice finished with four sacks, 20 QB pressures, three forced fumbles and seven tackles for a loss. The most snaps he received in a game was 27.

The guy can rush the quarterback, but to earn more snaps Williams must improve against the run to become more than a spot pass-rushing defensive end. That is one of the reasons Williams wasn’t a first-round pick coming out of Ole Miss. Needed to improve his run defense, doing a better job of turning those outside run plays inside by setting the edge.

So to become relevant, Williams knows he’s got to climb the position totem pole. For sure he’s behind Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong and Parsons, too, when defensive coordinator Dan Quinn decides to play him at defensive end. Those guys are the team’s best defensive end run defenders, thus earning the right to rush the quarterback.

“I need 10 sacks,” Williams said. “Ten sacks will open up a lot of opportunities for me. Obviously, the team goal is to win a championship, but my personal goal and what I’m working towards is getting better with my hands. And I need 10 sacks.”

Cowboys Camp Construction ‘Crosses A Line!’ - Irate Oxnard Residents - Jonathan Alfano, Sacramento Bee

Seems some fans who live at training camp are displeased with the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys are in the midst of making preparations for training camp in Oxnard, California, but it seems they aren’t starting off on the right foot. According to the Dallas Morning News, Oxnard residents are upset with the Cowboys for building temporary structures for training camp inches away from their property with no prior notice. Residents are taking action in response by hiring attorneys and filing a complaint to the city.

In the complaint filed by nine residents from five households, attorney Eric Hawes accused the Cowboys of starting construction on a structure “on the lot line with no setback and without a building permit or a special use permit.” The Cowboys refuted this claim on Friday, stating that the city had approved all plans, but requested a white tent be added over the structure. However, that tent hasn’t sat well with residents either.

Oxnard resident Warner Cutbill is a Cowboys fan who said he adjusts his work schedule to watch practices. This year, though, the structure near his yard has soured his view. He even said that he recently bought a Ring camera over concerns that someone may climb the structure’s staircase and enter his yard.

“It’s horrendous,” Cutbill said. “I was so excited for this camp to come up. Now, I wish it was gone at a certain point almost. I can’t see myself being excited to go out there and watch at all. I just want to get away at this point.”

Will more pass-pro for Cowboys RBs mean less RB routes downfield? - Reid Hanson, Cowboys Wire

The Cowboys want better pass protection from the RBs.

With more responsibilities in pass protection, one might assume it means less targets downfield as pass-catchers. Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott combined for 56 receptions for 463 yards and three touchdowns in 2022. Could a decline in production be on the horizon for Dallas’ RB unit?

Possibly, but not necessarily.

The statements made could mean more chip-blocking and/or tougher blitz pick-up assignments.

If the Cowboys continue to run the ball often on early downs, they’ll likely continue to put themselves into obvious passing situations on third downs. Having capable RBs who can assist in blitz pick-up is paramount to survival.

Playing in the NFC East, the Cowboys also face some of the most talented pass-rushers in the NFL. Chip-blocking is an important tool in the pass-blocking arsenal because it provides help to the primary blocker without dedicating a full double-team.

So, in the case of chip-blocking it adds to their pass-protection responsibilities without stealing from their reception opportunities.

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