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PRO FOOTBALL SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT

Choice is theirs, and Cowboys may use him

Running back Tashard Choice has been a forgotten man in Dallas since committing a key fumble in the opener against Washington, but with the Cowboys 1-6, Coach Wade Phillips has told him to be prepared to play a bigger role.

November 06, 2010|By Sam Farmer

This season started in the worst of ways for Dallas running back Tashard Choice, but he might have a chance to finish strong.

At the end of the first half in the opener against Washington, Choice took a pitch and was swarmed by Redskins defenders. Instead of simply going down and ending the half, he fought for meaningless yardage and was stripped of the ball by DeAngelo Hall, who returned it for a touchdown.

If one play embodied the frustration the 1-6 Cowboys have felt this season, that was it.

But Choice, a third-string back who's often forgotten behind Marion Barber and Felix Jones, has frequently been a pleasant surprise in his career.

In 2008, for instance, he made the first two starts of his career against two of the NFL's best defenses. He put up some very respectable numbers, rushing for 88 yards against Pittsburgh and 90 against Baltimore.

Although he has been used sparingly this season — he has just eight carries and seven receptions — he has gotten the word from Coach Wade Phillips that he will be more involved in the offense during the second half of the season.

"He just told me to be ready," Choice told reporters of Phillips. "[He said] 'you're going to get back in there on the offensive side of the ball.'"

That starts Sunday night against a Green Bay defense that last Sunday shut out the New York Jets on the road.

In the past, the Cowboys have used Choice when they run their "razorback" scheme, their version of the wildcat. The way Choice makes it sound, however, he could see his opportunities expand soon.

"I'm going to roll," he told reporters. "It's going to be an opportunity where I have a chance to be a future guy and I've got to get those carries and be a part of the game big-time. And I know that."

—Sam Farmer

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