Cowboys running back repaired ankle damage sustained during playoff loss to 49ers
FRISCO — Running back Tony Pollard underwent surgery Tuesday to repair ligaments from a sprained ankle he suffered in the Dallas Cowboys’ Divisional Round playoff loss against the San Francisco 49ers, according to a source.
Pollard suffered the injury with 1:24 left in the first half when 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward fell on his ankle while making a tackle. Pollard was carted into the X-ray room with an air splint on his leg. The Cowboys only had 21 rushing yards in the second half without Pollard.RELATED
Pollard underwent a procedure on the ligament rather than surgery that required screws to be placed in the tibia and fibula for a repair. In this procedure, a braided polyethylene thread is applied, instead of a rigid surgical screw, to restore the original position of the bones and allow proper healing.
Pollard should be fully recovered long before training camp. Tua Tagovailoa underwent similar surgery while at Alabama and Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill also had the procedure recently. Pollard also suffered a broken fibula, but that will heal in time.
Tony Pollard was injured during the Divisional Round game against the San Francisco 49ers. AP Photo
The timing of the injury hurts Pollard, who is scheduled to become a free agent in March and is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he posted career-highs with 1,007 yards and scored 12 touchdowns, one more than he had in his first few seasons. three seasons combined. The Cowboys could franchise Pollard to keep him off the market, but would like to reach a long-term deal if possible.
The NFL announced Tuesday that Pollard will be replaced at the Pro Bowl Games by Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.
The Cowboys may have to make a decision on Pollard’s fellow running back, Ezekiel Elliott, who is slated to earn $10.9 million in 2023. There is no more guaranteed money in Elliott’s contract, which makes him a candidate for a reduction. salary or be cut. After the loss to the 49ers, Elliott said that he wanted to stay with the Cowboys.
If the Cowboys cut Elliott, they would save $4.86 million in salary cap. If designated as a post-June 1 cutoff, Elliott would hit $5.82 million against the 2023 salary cap and $6.04 million against the 2024 salary cap.
In Pollard’s case, the Cowboys have shown a willingness to pay their own players coming off injuries. In 2021, they signed Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million deal after he suffered a dislocated and broken right ankle. Last year, they signed wide receiver Michael Gallup to a five-year, $57.5 million deal after he tore the ACL in his left knee in the penultimate game of the regular season.