Saturday, October 29, 2011
Tashard Choice was never a Garrett guy
By Tim MacMahon
It was a matter of time for Tashard Choice, who was performing poorly while playing out the final season of his rookie contract.
His time is now up at Valley Ranch, as he was waived-injured Saturday to make room on the roster for second-round rookie linebacker Bruce Carter.
For whatever reason, Choice never became a Jason Garrett guy. That was evident by the fact that the Cowboys kept trotting out broken-down Marion Barber instead of Choice the last few years, even though Choice produced when injuries forced the coaches to give him a healthy share of the workload.
The problem this season is that Choice, whose poor special teams play was always an issue, made himself expendable.
It started with missing most of training camp with a strained calf. He probably would have been cut after the preseason if rookie third-round pick DeMarco Murray didn’t miss so much time with a strained hamstring.
Choice, whose fire seemed extinguished by the realization he’d never have a significant role here, gave the Cowboys good reason to get rid of him. He averaged only 2.7 yards on his 28 carries this season and lost fumbles in the last two games.
Then Choice got hurt, banging up his shoulder while fumbling against the Rams and straining his hamstring during Thursday’s practice. Bye-bye.
If the Cowboys really had two teams that wanted to trade for Choice before the deadline, they should have pulled the trigger. Why wait for Felix Jones to get healthy when everyone knew that Choice had no future here?
The Cowboys won’t miss Choice. Murray is coming off a record-setting performance and is an obvious upgrade as the No. 2 back, if not the lead horse. Undrafted rookie Phillip Tanner has better burst and tackle-breaking ability than Choice and is a much more willing and able special teams player. And Jones will be back in a week or two.
Maybe Choice gets refreshed by landing on a team that gives him a role and produces again. But it wasn’t going to happen for him as a Cowboy.
The real shame is that Choice got released right before he had another chance to get Michael Vick’s autograph again.