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Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard broke his leg last Sunday and had “Tightrope” Surgery
On Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 the Dallas Cowboys NFL Pro Bowl selected running back, Tony Pollard, suffered a fractured left fibula, and that injury required surgery in order to repair his left leg.
How the Injury Happened
Pollard endured his leg injury with only 1- minute and 24 - seconds left in the 1st - half of the Dallas Cowboys' 19 - 12 divisional round loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The injury occurred when Tony was rolled up on top of his foot after an 8 - yard catch by a San Francisco 49ers defender.
Pollard had to be helped off to the Dallas Cowboys sideline, and his left leg was put in an air - cast while he had to carted off of the field and in to the Dallas Cowboys locker room to get X - rayed inside Levi's Stadium located in Santa Clara, California. Pollard was ultimately ruled out for a return in last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
"That hurt," the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Dak Prescott, stated. "Just a guy that brings so much to our offense, brings so much to our team. His energy. His energy on the sideline, in the huddle, the way he gets guys going. He's a special teammate, special player and obviously that one hurt. It hurt us. Wasn't able to create as many explosive plays as we planned, and I'm sure he would've been a big part of some of those had he not gotten hurt."
The Recent Production of the Dallas Cowboys’ Running Backs
Without the services of Pollard, the Dallas Cowboys were reliant on only Ezekiel Elliott as well as the Dallas Cowboys rookie running back, Malik Davis. Elliott has not been able to average 4 - yards per carry during his previous 5 - football games, and Zeke averaged a career - low 3.8 - yards per carry this season.
Elliott had to play a large majority of this NFL season with a knee brace in order to protect a sprained medial collateral ligament. Malik Davis rushed for 161 - yards and 1 - touchdown on his 38 - carries throughout the 2022 - 2023 NFL regular - season. Elliott had 10 - rushes that was good for only 26 - yards last Sunday, while Davis did not record even get the chance to have a single carry throughout that devastating NFL playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Impact of the Injury
Pollard's left leg injury could not have occurred at a more inconvenient time for the Dallas Cowboys or for Tony. Pollard is currently scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this March, and he is presently coming off of the best NFL season of his whole career.
Throughout his 16 - NFL regular - season games this year, Pollard rushed for 1,007 - yards on his 193 - carries. Tony scored 12 - touchdowns this season in which he outshined his entire total that he compiled during his initial 3 - NFL seasons. Pollard was named to the NFL Pro Bowl for the 1st - time during his career playing ball in the National Football League.
The Dallas Cowboys were relying on Tony's versatility and speed versus a San Francisco 49ers solid run defense which finished 2nd - against the run this year at 77.2 - yards per game. Prior to getting injured Pollard had just 6 - carries that was good for 22 - yards as well as 2 - catches good for only 11 - yards.
Pollard, underwent surgery on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 in order to repair some of his ligaments from the high ankle sprain in which Pollard suffered during the Dallas Cowboys' divisional round NFL postseason defeat to the victorious San Francisco 49ers who will now face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, January 29th, 2023 in the NFC championship game from Lincoln Financial Field located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Tony endured his leg injury when the San Francisco 49ers defensive back, Jimmie Ward, landed on top of his ankle while making attempting to make the tackle on Pollard. Tony had to be carted to the X - ray room within the stadium while already fitting into an air cast on his left leg. The Dallas Cowboys had only 21 - yards rushing during the 2nd - half of last Sunday’s NFL playoff game without Pollard playing for “America’s Team.”
Pollard just yesterday underwent a "tightrope" surgical procedure instead of consisting of a surgery that required screws to be inserted into the tibia and fibula in order to repair his left leg. For this procedure a braided polyethylene cord as opposed to a surgical screw was adhered to restore the original position of his leg bones which will enable him to properly heal up for the beginning of the 2023 - 2024 NFL season.
In fact, Tony should be at full strength well prior to the start of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 training camp. Tua Tagovailoa had to go under a similar surgery while he was playing his college football at the University of Alabama, and the Tennessee Titans quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, also had the same procedure fairly recently. On his current injury, Pollard also endured a fractured fibula, but his broken fibula will heal in just a matter of time.
The timing of this present injury for Pollard is hard to swallow as he is set to become an NFL free agent this March, and Tony is coming off of an NFL Pro Bowl season in which he recorded a career - high 1,007 - yards as well as scoring 12 - touchdowns, which is 1 - more than he possessed during his 1st - 3 seasons all together combined. The Dallas Cowboys could place the franchise tag on Tony in order to keep him off of the NFL’s open market, but Pollard would like to work out a long - term deal with the Dallas Cowboys, if at all possible, as of now.
2022 - 2023 NFL Pro Bowl
The National Football League announced on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 that Tony Pollard will be replaced in the NFL Pro Bowl games by the Minnesota Vikings superstar running back, Dalvin Cook.
The Tumultuous NFL Offseason for the Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys may just have a huge decision to make on Pollard's backfield running mate in Ezekiel Elliott during the 2023 NFL offseason as Elliott is scheduled to make $10.9 million next season. There is no longer any guaranteed money in Ezekiel’s contract, which makes him a prime candidate to receive a pay cut or an all - out release from the Dallas Cowboys. After the Dallas Cowboys loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Elliott said, “He wants to remain with the Dallas Cowboys.”
If the Dallas Cowboys do indeed decide to release Elliott, they would save $4.86 million in salary cap space this year. If the Dallas Cowboys designate him a post - June 1st - release then Ezekiel would count up to approximately $5.82 million against the Dallas Cowboy’s salary cap in 2023 as well as $6.04 million towards the Dallas Cowboy’s salary cap for the 2024 - 2025 NFL season.
In the case of Tony Pollard, the Dallas Cowboys have recently demonstrated the willingness to pay their own big - name players coming off of injuries. In 2021, they resigned Dak Prescott to a 4 - year contract worth up to $160 million following him suffering the dislocation and fracture of his right ankle. Just last year, the Dallas Cowboys signed their wide receiver, Michael Gallup, to a 5 - year deal valued at around $57.5 million immediately after Gallup ripped his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the 2nd - to - last NFL regular - season game.
Pollard’s Football Career Achievements, Honors, & Awards
- NFL Pro Bowl Selection (2022)
- Consensus All - American Selection (2017)
- 2 - Time All - AAC Selection (2016, 2017)
- 2 - Time AAC Special Teams Player of the Year Award Winner (2016, 2017)
“Cowboys RB Tony Pollard broke leg, needs surgery”, Todd Archer, espn.com, January 22, 2023.
“Cowboys' Tony Pollard has tightrope surgery for injury”, Todd Archer, espn.com, January 24, 2023.
“Tony Pollard”, pro-football-reference.com, January 25, 2023.
Written by: David Green