Jerry Jones issued stern warning over NFL franchise tag decision

jerry jones


The Dallas Cowboys used the franchise tag on running back Tony Pollard despite suffering a broken leg in January and that decision has been called into question by NFL legend Shannon Sharpe

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been told he has acted with his heart over his head after using the franchise tag on injured running back Tony Pollard.

The 25-year-old rushed for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns, earning Pro Bowl recognition, but he suffered a broken leg in the Cowboys’ crushing divisional-round defeat to the San Fransisco 49ers in January.

With his contract at an end, the Cowboys have used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Pollard, guaranteeing him more than $10million for the year ahead, buying the team more time to negotiate a long-term deal with a rusher who was more dynamic and effective than established star Ezekiel Elliott in 2022.

Pollard is expected to be healthy for the start of training camp in the summer, but the decision to use the tag on him has been criticised by NFL legend Shannon Sharpe, who commended Jones – the organisation’s de-facto general manager as well as owner – for his loyalty to Pollard.

But hall-of-fame tight end Sharpe says the move is a questionable business decision. He said on Undisputed: “I don’t know if its the smartest move, but this is one thing we know about Jerry Jones, he is very loyal to the players that he drafted. He looks at them as if they are his children and I commend him because so many times owners and general managers tell us about the business side.


“Coming off the injury Tony Pollard is coming off, I don’t know if there are a whole lot of teams that are going to be offering (a deal) because we have seen the running back position has been devalued.

“It is going to be a long time before another person gets a Zeke contract or Christan McCaffery’s contract because with the running back position, they’re like ‘We can get a guy in the third round on a rookie contract for four years, use him up and move him on and get another one’.

“With that being said, I appreciate what Jerry Jones is doing by showing loyalty to one of his players that played extremely well for him, but given the running back positon and how we see third and fourth-rounders turn out to be really good, I’m surprised considering he has Zeke on the hook for $16.7m, Tony Pollard for almost $10.1m and Malik Davis is $870,000. You’re looking at over $27m, just in running backs.

“We know they are going to restructure Zeke, I don’t think Zeke is going anywhere and they are going to make it more digestible for the team as far as cap purposes. “Am I surprised? No, because I know how Jerry is and how much he loves the players. He loves Tony Pollard and he played extremely well, but he is coming off an injury. Do I think it’s the smartest thing as far as cap purposes? No.”

Pollard was the fourth player to be franchise tagged this off-season, with the Las Vegas Raiders clinging on to an unhappy Josh Jacobs, while defensive tackle Daron Payne and tight end Evan Engram have been locked down by the Washington Commanders and Jacksonville Jaguars respectively.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to be tagged before Tuesday’s 9pm GMT (4pm ET) deadline, with contract talks dragging on for more than two years and going down to the wire.


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