IRVING, Texas – Tashard Choice can’t wait to get to Green Bay.
That’s because he expects to have a significant role in the offense for the first time since the bye week. He’s not exactly sure what his role will be, but Choice anticipates that he’ll be part of the running back rotation and get a carry for the first time since September.
“I’m going to show up. If I’m in, I’m on,” Choice said. “And it’s on Sunday night, I promise you that.”
Choice, who has a career average of 5.1 yards per carry, is basing his belief on a conversation he had with coach Wade Phillips. According to Choice, Phillips told him to be ready because he was going to be back in the mix offensively.
Phillips recalled the conversation a little bit differently, at least for public consumption.
“I just told him to be ready,” Phillips said, indicating that Choice wasn’t guaranteed any role.
However, there’s no good reason for Choice not to be involved in the offense. The Cowboys rank 31st in the league in rushing offense, averaging only 80.9 yards per game.
The coaches decided to go with a two-back rotation when Felix Jones became the lead back after the bye week, keeping Choice on the sideline. Choice said the only question he asked the coaches about his diminished role was whether it was due to a mistake he made. He was told that it was not, but his fumble returned for a touchdown just before halftime of the season opener sticks with him.
“I move on, but I don’t bury it,” said Choice, who had never fumbled in the NFL until that play. “It will be in every carry that I run from here on out. I blame myself. I don’t care if it’s 11-on-1. As a running back, you’ve got two things you’ve got to do in the NFL. You’ve got to hold onto the ball and protect your quarterback.”
It’s a bit of a mystery why Choice hasn’t been getting a share of Marion Barber’s playing time. Barber, who is averaging only 3.0 yards per carry, said he wouldn’t have a problem with the running back rotation changing.
"You do what your boss asks you to do," Barber said.
According to Choice, his boss is asking him to run the ball again. Finally.