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How Cowboys RB Tony Pollard went from BBQ to budding NFL star

The Pollard family tells ABC24 how it took a village to help the former Memphis Tiger achieve his dreams.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Pollard's BBQ is back open on Sundays—but you better have your Cowboys gear on.

"That's the only way you can come in," Torria Pollard, the mother of Dallas running back Tony Pollard, said with a laugh.

The Pollards have been Barbequing for four generations.

"My granddaddy barbequed at home," said Tarrance Pollard, Tony's father. "He's the one that taught everybody how to barbeque."

Now the family shop is where Tony's family and friends gather to cheer him on.

"Sometimes I sit at home and say, 'I can't believe this,' Torria said. "My son is on TV playing for the Cowboys? Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves and say, 'Is this real?'"

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The former Memphis Tiger first stepped on a football field when he was four years old. 

"He was at a game and they thought he was a mascot because he was so tiny," she said.

But his dreams were big.

"When he was six years old, he said 'Mom, I'm going to the NFL.' I said 'No you're not, sit down.' He proved me wrong."

Torria and Tarrance Pollard made sure Tony and his older brother Terrion had every opportunity to succeed on the field, even if that meant expensive camps and training. 

"At certain times, we were struggling ourselves as parents, just trying to do for the kids and the family," she said.

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In those times, Memphis-area trainers and coaches like Tim Thompson stepped up to do their part.

"Times got hard, he let me skip a payment here, skip a payment there and train them anyway," Tarrance said.

"Sometimes they would just pick him up, take him to camp and wouldn't ask for a dime," Torria said. So that played a big part too."

"I will never tell a child again to sit down. When they tell you something that they want to do, listen. Because my son proved me wrong."

Tony isn't the only Pollard living his dream. His brother Terrion now carries on the family tradition, working with his dad at Pollard's.

"I kind of love it. It's kind of weird to say, but I love it," Terrion said. "I don't need to get hit every Sunday. I'd rather watch him do it." 

Surrounded by family and BBQ. Who could blame him? 

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