San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (R) lands on the lower leg of Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard while making a tackle in an NFC divisional-round game Sunday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Running back Tony Pollard sustained a broken leg in the Dallas Cowboys' playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers and faces a three-month recovery process this off-season.
Sources told NFL Network, ESPN and the Dallas Morning News that Pollard sustained a fractured fibula and high-ankle sprain in his left leg in the second quarter of the 19-12 loss Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif. The injuries will require off-season surgery.
Pollard caught a short pass with about 1:34 remaining in the first half at the start of the play. 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward then ran into the area and pulled Pollard down. Pollard's leg got stuck under Ward's body during the tackle, resulting in the injuries.
Trainers ran out to attend to Pollard before he was put on a cart at taken to the X-ray room at Levi's Stadium. He did not return to the game and was seen using crutches and wearing a boot on his leg when he left the stadium.
"Losing Tony was obviously a shot," Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters, when asked about the impact of Pollard's departure. "Tony is probably clearly one of our most, if not the most, productive player. "You know the way we've played all year. It's important for those guys to touch the football. So yeah, that was a big blow for us."
Pollard totaled a career-high 1,378 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns in 16 games this season while splitting time with starter Ezekiel Elliott.
The Cowboys totaled 55 rushing yards, compared to the 49ers' 27 rushing yards, in the first half of the divisional-round matchup. The 49ers then out-gained the Cowboys 86 to 21 in second-half rushing yards.
Pollard's injuries could complicate the Cowboys' off-season plans, as the running back is set to hit free agency after a breakout campaign. Elliott, who averaged a career-low 3.8 yards per attempt, is signed with the Cowboys through 2026.
The 49ers will play the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game at 3 p.m. EST Sunday in Philadelphia. The winner will face the Buffalo Bills or Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy drops back to pass as he faces the Dallas Cowboys in an NFC divisional-round game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on January 22, 2023.The 49ers defeated
the Cowboys 19-12 to move on to the NFC Championship against the Philadelphia Eagles. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo