Report: Tony Pollard open to returning to Cowboys on hometown discount

The Cowboys currently have only Deuce Vaughn and Malik Davis under contract at running back for 2024. They have combined for 22 appearances and 74 touches as spot players.

The Cowboys are in the market for a starting running back, whether that's the return of 2023 starter Tony Pollard or someone else, as well as a backup running back.

Pollard, who played on the franchise tag last season, will become a free agent next week.

Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News reports Pollard will test free agency, but he is open to returning even if the contract from another team is slightly higher than the Cowboys' offer.

Pollard became the team's top running back last season with the departure of Ezekiel Elliott. He rushed for 1,005 yards while averaging a career-low 4.0 yards per carry. But he set career highs in snaps (836), receptions (55) and broken tackles (19).

His 1,316 scrimmage yards were the most of his career.

"I think Pollard played well," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said last week. "He's someone that I would have thought, looking back, that would have had more let's say more impact for us in games we didn't play well in. But that running game, of course, is a product of not only the back, but the blocking and the complete offense. When I look at him, I have done that with our coaches, and I have done that with our scouts, he played well."

The Cowboys finished 14th in rushing yards last season with 1,920 and 18th in yards per carry at 4.1. That came after Mike McCarthy said, in his first year as the team's play caller, that he wanted to run the ball better than the Cowboys had under former offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.