Cowboys Unlikely To Use Franchise Tag In 2024

The Cowboys are among the teams which have made frequent usage of the franchise tag in recent years. DeMarcus Lawrence, Dak PrescottDalton Schultz and Tony Pollard have each played at least one season on the one-year tender in a streak dating back to 2018. That is likely to end in 2024, however.

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports the Cowboys are not expected to apply the tag during the current window. Pollard was an obvious tag candidate last offseason, one in which the team moved on from fellow running back Ezekiel Elliott. That move freed up an undisputed No. 1 role for Pollard, who quickly signed his tenure and earned $10.1MM during the season.

The former fourth-rounder received an increased workload in 2023, but his efficiency saw a notable decline. As a result, it would come as a surprise if Dallas elected to tag him again at a cost of roughly $12.1MM. A deal checking in at a lower rate to keep Pollard in the fold would be far more beneficial to the Cowboys’ salary cap situation, something which will be worth watching over the coming weeks.

Prescott is in need of either a restructure or an extension given the $59.5MM cap hit he is slated to carry in 2024. Dallas also has a number of pending free agents, including left tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who could use up needed cap resources if retained. Both veterans have expressed a desire to re-sign with the Cowboys, who will also have top-of-the-market extensions for wideout CeeDee Lamb and edge rusher Micah Parsons to budget for in the near future.

Lawrence and Prescott each wound up agreeing to long-term deals after playing on the tag, while Shultz departed in free agency last offseason. Pollard’s future will be worth monitoring if he does indeed reach the open market. The franchise tag window runs through March 5, but Dallas should not be expected to be active on that front in a departure from recent history.

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