_With Saquon Barkley threatening to sit out and Dalvin Cook looking for a "significant contract," there seems to be some pushback among NFL running backs about their perceived lack of value. Do you think this affects the Cowboys working out a multi-year contract with Tony Pollard? Are we looking at a one-and-done season for him and the team? _– Tony Washington/San Diego, CA
Nick Eatman: Can't say I've really thought of it that way, but you're not wrong. That's how things in the league usually work. Agents know what other agents are doing and teams know what other teams are doing. Therefore, running backs probably know what other backs are doing, and certainly, what they're getting paid. But honestly, I think the only way the Cook and Barkley situations – which are obviously very different – would affect Pollard, would be in the Cowboys' favor. At some point, these running backs are going to see the writing on the wall. Doesn't matter how great they are, teams don't want to spend a lot of money on them. So if these other RB situations factor into the Cowboys and/or Pollard at all, it might actually lead to a long-term deal. Pollard might not see it this way, but at some point, these guys might have to lower the overall number just to get a long-term deal in place. Do I see that happening? Not really, but it's probably the only way a deal gets done longer than one year.
Patrik: I don't think anything from outside of the building will impact negotiations inside of it, as it relates to the running back position, and that's because any lessons the Cowboys feel they needed to learn — they likely learned from the Ezekiel Elliott situation. In their eyes, they felt things came to a point where they could go younger at the position without keeping on two major salaries at RB, so they released Elliott with an eye on signing Tony Pollard to a long-term deal and they have until July 17 to do it. As far as what Pollard would want contractually, well, I don't believe he's looking to set the market (that's my opinion, by the way) and so I believe the potential deal should be easier to negotiate. Both Cook and Barkley have more "decorated" careers that, at minimum, do afford them the opportunity to ask for more money. For Pollard, who is insanely talented but who also hasn't had a chance to show what he can do as a No. 1 back, it's an entirely different conversation and, as such, I wouldn't think anything related to Cook or Barkley influences talks with Pollard.