Gently tapping brakes to Choice talk

December, 6, 2010
12/06/10
12:15
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- As Tim MacMahon plants himself firmly in the first seat of the Tashard Choice bandwagon, may I offer a tapping of the brakes?

This is not to take away what Choice did Sunday against Indianapolis. He had 19 carries for 100 yards in his most extensive action of the season. He had a nifty 20-yard touchdown run and later a 26-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Every move he made Sunday was correct.

But let’s not go overboard. The Colts have a horrid run defense, allowing 136 yards per game before the Cowboys put up 217 yards on 46 carries Sunday. Nine different running backs had more than 87 yards rushing against the Colts. Legends like New England’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis, San Diego’s Mike Tolbert and Washington’s Ryan Torain ran for 96, 103 and 100 yards against the Colts.

And let’s not discount the fresh legs factor either. Choice had 14 carries in the first 11 games of this season. Before ripping off good games against Pittsburgh (88 yards), the Giants (91 yards) and Baltimore (90 yards) in 2008, he had 30 carries in the first 12 games that year.

Fresh legs can make a difference.

It did for Julius Jones in 2004. He had five carries before fracturing his shoulder and did not return until Week 11 against Baltimore. In the last seven games of the season Jones ran for 813 yards, leading everybody (probably me, too) to believe he would be the Cowboys’ next great running back like Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith.

How did that work out?

Choice is a good back and should have received more carries but hold off on making him the man just yet.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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