Ezekiel Elliott made it clear during the week: a calf bruise wasn't going to keep him out against Cincinnati, even on a short week with the Cowboys' playoff hopes fading at 3-9.
Elliott gritted through the injury with 12 carries for 48 yards, including a season-long 26-yard gain in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 30-7 road victory over the Bengals.
"It was a little sore, but I really didn't feel it much during the game," he said.
Elliott also got help from Pollard, who continues to excel as a kickoff returner and change-of-pace running back.
With Elliott less than 100% percent this week, he and Pollard essentially split the carries Sunday. Pollard had 11 carries for 39 yards and sealed the game with his second career touchdown catch, a 7-yarder from quarterback Andy Dalton.
The second-year back added two kick returns for 77 yards, including a 60-yarder on the opening kickoff of the second half that helped Dallas extend the lead to 20-7.
"It was big because you could start to feel they were kind of getting a little momentum, especially with that late touchdown in the (first) half," Pollard said. "So it was a point that we came out strong and took the momentum back on our side."
Pollard now has three kick returns of 60-plus yards this season. He's averaging 24.5 yards-per-return and has doubled his kick returns from last year: 28 this year compared to 14 in 2019.
"Tony Pollard is a hell of a football player, both on offense and on special teams," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "You can see his comfort in the return game. If you go back to the early weeks and how we didn't get off to the start that we hoped, you could see what we all see at practice.
"He can make any cut. He has vision. On offense, he's a dynamic perimeter player. So, Tony's playing excellent football for us. I thought he had a heck of a day."