Tony Pollard's 100-yard kickoff return touchdown gives Dallas Cowboys a spark

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Tony Pollard is keeping the Dallas Cowboys in their Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders as a running back and a kickoff specialist.

After the Raiders took a 24-13 lead on a Marcus Mariota touchdown run, Pollard took the ensuing kickoff back 100 yards for a Cowboys touchdown, showing blazing speed with some solid blocking from Malik Turner.

But it was mostly Pollard, who took the kick outside the right hashmark and raced to the left sideline, beating kicker Daniel Carlson at the Dallas 45 and not getting touched again until Brandon Facyson grazed him when Pollard was inside the Raiders' 5.

It was the Cowboys' longest kickoff return for a touchdown since Reggie Swinton had a 100-yarder in 2002 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Last year, CeeDee Lamb returned an onside kick attempt 47 yards for a score against the San Francisco 49ers. It was also the Cowboys' first kickoff return TD on Thanksgiving since 1971 (Ike Thomas).

Pollard had a 54-yard kick return earlier this season, and was averaging 26 yards per return this season.

In his final season at Memphis in 2018, he led the nation in kickoff return average at 40 yards.