Tony Pollard got his chance to lead the Dallas Cowboys' running back room in 2023 after playing second fiddle to Ezekiel Elliott in 2022.
But with the increased responsibility and more carries, Pollard simply couldn't get back to his Pro Bowl form.
The Cowboys run game was perhaps the only thing on offense that wasn't "firing" as Dak Prescott led the team to a 12-5 record with the highest-scoring offense in football.
While Pollard still rushed for 1,005 yards, the second straight season he surpassed that mark, how did his efforts rank against all other 72 starting running backs this year?
NFL.com ranked him 18th.
"Pollard topped 1,000 rushing yards in his first season as Dallas’ RB1, but he wasn’t as efficient as he was when backing up Ezekiel Elliott, going from 5.2 yards per carry in 2022 to just 4.0 in '23," NFL.com writes. "There is a decent chance his days in Dallas are over, but he'd quickly find a home elsewhere as a free agent."
Pollard had less production with more carries and struggled to find the endzone as he managed it just six times in 17 games (had two TDs in the first nine games). ... and that feeds the logic that suggests Dallas will be looking elsewhere for its 2024 production.
Last season, NFL.com had Pollard ranked 12th in the NFL among other starting backs as he burst onto the scene as the ultimate change-up to Elliott's physical style with his lightning-quick feet and blazing speed. But that didn't translate into 2023 as Pollard only hit the 100-yard mark in a game once (three times in 2022).
Pollard will likely see his future elsewhere in 2024 as the Cowboys are unlikely to spend upward of $10 million APY on a running back ($12.4 franchise tag) that didn't seem to handle the full load of an RB1 this season.
Five times the Cowboys failed to surpass 100 rushing yards in a game and coincidently, they lost four of them.
Exactly what the running back room looks like for Dallas going forward is a big question mark, but having Pollard, the 18th-ranked back in football return on big money isn't a likely outcome.
He could see his ranking improve next year, but, it's likely that Pollard won't do it as a member of the Cowboys.