Tony Pollard suffered a broken leg back in January, putting the start to his 2023 campaign in doubt. However, the running back told reporters today that he’s ahead of schedule with his rehab and is aiming to be back on the field for the starting of training camp.
“Right now, I’m feeling really good about where I am — a little bit ahead of schedule,” Pollard said today (via the team’s website). “Being able to get out there for the walkthrough parts and to be out there with the team, get out there and get my feet wet. I’m not really limited at this point, it’s just [about] being smart with it. Just trying to work my way back in slowly and make sure I’m in tip-top shape so there’s not a fall-off.”
Pollard took some basic reps with the starters during OTAs, and he stated that he actually feels “faster” than he did before his injury. Of course, just because the running back may be anxious to return to the field, it doesn’t mean the Cowboys won’t bring him along slowly. This is especially true after the team didn’t re-sign Ezekiel Elliott while placing the franchise tag on Pollard.
The former fourth-round pick followed up his first 1,000-yard campaign in 2021 with his first Pro Bowl season in 2022. Pollard finished the year with 1,378 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns, and that performance clearly gave the organization confidence that he can lead the rushing attack in 2023…and beyond.
Pollard will earn a bit more than $10MM in 2023 playing under the franchise tag. It’s uncertain if the RB’s camp will discuss a long-term pact with the Cowboys front office, but Pollard made it clear that he’s not focused on his future earnings.
“I let my agent handle that — do the dirty work — and I just come in ready to work,” the running back said.
While Pollard is limited in OTAs, the team has been able to get a long look at their backup options. Any of Malik Davis, rookie sixth-round pick Deuce Vaughn, veteran Ronald Jones, and Rico Dowdle could be in contention for backup reps behind Pollard next season.