Cowboys star running back undergoes ‘TightRope’ surgery: What we know

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard is on the mend.

Two days after he suffered a broken left fibula and high ankle sprain in Dallas’ 19-12 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, Pollard underwent a ‘TightRope’ surgery on Tuesday to repair the issue, according to ESPN.

Pollard, one of Dallas’ most explosive weapons, had picked up 33 yards on eight touches prior to suffering the injury. The Cowboys gained only 21 rushing yards in the second half, as their offense struggled to finish drives against San Francisco’s defense.

Here’s everything you need to know about Pollard’s injury.

When did the injury happen?

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Late in the second quarter of the game, with 1:24 left to play in the half, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw a checkdown pass to Pollard in the middle of the field. As Pollard tried to escape 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward, he had his left foot caught underneath Ward’s weight as Ward brought him to the turf.

After being tended to on the field, Pollard was eventually carted to the locker room for X-rays, wearing an air cast around his foot and leg.

How long is Tony Pollard’s expected recovery?

According to NFL Network, the expected recovery time will be around three months, which should have him ready for portions of the offseason program, including minicamps in June and training camp in late July.

What complicates the timing of Pollard’s injury is that he is set to enter the offseason as an unrestricted free agent after playing four seasons on his rookie contract. Pollard, 25, secured his first Pro Bowl season in 2022, setting career highs in rushes (193), rushing yards (1,007), rushing touchdowns (nine), receiving yards (371) and receiving touchdowns (three).

Pollard was a fourth-round selection in the 2019 NFL draft.

What is a ‘TightRope’ surgery?

According to the National Institutes of Health, a ‘TightRope’ surgery is an alternative to a procedure that requires the insertion of screws to stabilize the wound, ‘with a reduced need for implant removal.’ In a ‘TightRope’ procedure, a braided cord is used to establish the desired tension for proper healing. The NIH calls the procedure ‘consistent and reliable.’

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