It's been months since Saquon Barkley heard his name called by the Giants in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has been through training camp and broke out his first highlight-reel play for his first career NFL touchdown on Sunday against the Jaguars.
But flashbacks will come for the 21-year-old this Sunday night when he travels back to Dallas to face the Cowboys for his first taste of the heated rivalry. The Draft took place in AT&T Stadium, and when Barkley donned his new NFL jersey through its halls, he heard Cowboys fans shout, "We'll see you back here soon!"
"That is when it hit me," Barkley told Newsday's Tom Rock.
Barkley may not have played against Dallas just yet, but he is expected to make a big impact on Sunday in setting the tone for the offense. But before he takes the field, he will take a second to reflect.
"That's gonna be cool to go back to Dallas and relive that moment," Barkley said.
That moment will be short-lived, though, as the Giants look for their first win of the season. The Cowboys are also looking for the same, and they have a dynamic player in their backfield as well: Ezekiel Elliott. Barkley praised Elliott for what he has been able to accomplish in his early career, and he hopes he can do the same with Big Blue.
"He came in and made a true impact on his team," Barkley said. "He's a special weapon. Definitely he set the standard for rookies at the running back position."
That standard just so happens to be 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns in Elliott's rookie season, which earned him First Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods. So, Barkley will need to put in a lot of work to match or even top his new rival's rookie numbers.
But he is going to try. Dallas is the next test.
"To go back to that stadium where my dreams came true," Barkley said, "hopefully I can leave this time with more good memories. And a win."