The Dallas Cowboys offense took a big blow in the first half against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Tony Pollard injured his left ankle during a second-quarter drive as the Cowboys looked to score before halftime. With 1:36 remaining in the half, Pollard caught a short pass from Dak Prescott on second-and-2 then turned upfield for an 8-yard gain. 49ers safety Jimmie Ward tackled him, and Pollard’s ankle rolled violently under Ward’s body.
Pollard needed help to a sideline medical tent and soon left the field on a cart with a towel over his head.
He was fitted for an air cast before he left the field and ruled out at halftime with an ankle injury.
The Cowboys didn’t immediately provide further details of his diagnosis. The drive ended with a Prescott interception that set up a 49ers field goal to take a 9-6 lead into halftime.
While Ezekiel Elliott remains the starter in Dallas, Pollard has emerged as the Cowboys’ most effective running in his first Pro Bowl season. Pollard, 25, led the Cowboys in the regular season with 1,007 rushing yards on 5.2 yards per carry. He added 39 catches for 371 yards while tallying 12 total touchdowns.
His absence means more action for Elliott, who averaged 3.8 yards per carry in the regular season. For Pollard, it’s a brutal blow as he enters an offseason without a contract. He was in line for a big payday at the conclusion of his four-year, $3.2 million rookie deal.