FRISCO, Texas — It was a welcoming sight to see Tony Pollard return to the field on Sunday night just eight months removed from an ugly leg injury that took him out of Dallas' playoff loss against San Francisco.
Looking as spry as ever carrying his new load as the starting running back out of the backfield, Pollard turned in a productive performance with 70 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to help power the offense with two-thirds of its touchdowns on Sunday night.
"I feel like it was a pretty decent performance in my first game back," Pollard said. "Just getting my feet wet."
The highlight of his performance came on a third-and-goal opportunity in the second quarter when he took a pitch to the right and followed his blockers before cutting back and finding a sliver to power through for his first score of the season.
"It was really an instinct thing," he said. "The play was designed to get outside and get the edge. Just feeling the flow of the defense and feeling how the backers were flowing to the ball and reacting."
Despite battling the rain and getting out to a big lead in large part due to the defense and special teams, Pollard feels like the offense found a rhythm even if the stat sheet doesn't pop off the page.
"I feel like we did a good job," Pollard said. "We didn't have our best game on offense, but we did a good job of playing complimentary football. The defense, when they're clicking like that, it doesn't take much from the offense. I feel like we did a good job of keeping the momentum going and getting drives when we could."
Pollard did say that he feels like the offense needs to execute better on Sunday against the Jets – especially with communication – as he sees a challenge ahead that will be one of the tougher battles they see in 2023.
"They have a great defense, especially on the d-line," he said about the Jets. "A guy like Quinnen Williams up front, they got a great linebacker corps, C.J. Mosley. They got nice corners out there."
"You gotta look forward to those tough challenges in this sport that we play. You're gonna play tough opponents. You're gonna play impact players, guys on the team that can make big plays. We have guys on our team that make those same plays. You just have to be looking forward to it."
With all of the talk between the lines aside, the excitement building around being inside AT&T Stadium for the first time this season on Sunday has Pollard and the rest of the team excited for what's ahead.
While every game has a certain level of importance, the home openers always feel a little bit more special to him.
"It's hard to describe," he said. "Especially being a Cowboy, it's different. Every game is pretty much gonna be packed out, sold out. Tailgates are gonna be crazy. It's a great feeling. You gotta be there to experience it."
"I'm looking forward to winning."