IRVING, Texas -- Tashard Choice has toned down his excitement about his role in the offense.
Choice puffed out his chest last week and proclaimed that he was back in the running back rotation. He was disappointed, to put it mildly, that he didn’t get a carry until the final possession of the Cowboys’ 45-7 loss to the Packers.
“It’s just tough,” said Choice, who has only 11 carries this season. “It’s always tough when you get an opportunity to go in the game and it’s late in the fourth quarter, but all you can do is just go in there and try to play, man. It’s tough. It’s hard not to be able to get in the football game and contribute early, but it is how it is.”
It would seem to make sense to give Choice some of Marion Barber's playing time. Barber, whose $45 million contract makes him a likely candidate to be cut this offseason, is averaging only 3.0 yards per carry this season. He's rushed for only 36 yards on 19 carries in the last three games.
But the coaches keep sticking with Barber as the starter.
Choice said he didn’t misunderstand the coaches’ message to him last week. But he acknowledged that he got his hopes up more than he should have.
“Get ready,” Choice said. “I thought it was going to be more like we did it last year or at the beginning of this year. I thought I had a chance to get in on some first and second downs. It didn’t happen, but I can’t worry about that. I just want to make sure I do my job on the special teams that I’m on and when I do get in.”
It isn’t likely that Choice’s role will change now. Interim coach Jason Garrett is the guy who has opted to leave Choice on the sideline for most of the season.
But Garrett claims he’ll play the best players, regardless of contract status or anything else. Does Choice believe that?
“Yeah. Absolutely. I’m praying,” Choice said with a smile. “I’m not saying I’m the best player, I just hope I can play a little bit. That’s all.”