Cowboys use franchise tag to retain RB Tony Pollard

Running back Tony Pollard received the franchise tag from the Dallas Cowboys, preventing him from fleeing in free agency with a $10.09 million guarantee for the 2023 season.The deadline to apply the franchise tag is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.Pollard’s 2022 breakout season ended with a bad leg break, but he’s expected to be full strength in time for the mandatory portion of offseason workouts.Players given the non-exclusive franchise tag can still meet with interested teams. If Pollard receives a contract offer from another team, the Cowboys can choose to match the offer to retain Pollard, or decline to match and accept two first-round picks as trade compensation.Pollard, 25, ran for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns on 193 carries — all career highs — while splitting time in the Dallas backfield with Ezekiel Elliott in 2022.Pollard, a fourth-round draft pick in 2019, suffered a high ankle sprain and a fractured fibula late in the first half of the Cowboys’ divisional playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Ten days later he underwent “tightrope” surgery to provide stability to the injured ankle.His fibula should return to full strength by late March, Pollard said.