Tashard Choice 'absolutely' earned more carries

IRVING, Texas -- Tashard Choice ran his way back into the Cowboys’ running back rotation.

Interim coach Jason Garrett said Monday that Choice had earned more playing time by rushing for 100 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in the overtime win over the Colts.

“Absolutely,” Garrett said. “We want to get him the ball. We want to get him the ball. There’s no question about that.”

The Cowboys might not have much of a choice when it comes to giving Choice a chunk of playing time. Marion Barber’s status is uncertain due to the left calf strain that kept him from making the trip to Indianapolis.

However, Garrett indicated that Choice would be featured in the game plan regardless of Barber’s health. He praised Choice for running tough all game and raved about his 20-yard touchdown run, on which Choice turned the left corner and made four Colts miss en route to the end zone.

“He has a very good feel, he has very good vision and he can find the softness in the defense,” Garrett said. “I think that was all on display yesterday.”

It really the first time all season that it was on display due to the coaches’ decision to cut Choice out of the offense.

Garrett didn’t get into specifics about Choice’s role and danced around a question about whether Barber had been bumped down the depth chart. Garrett said the coaching staff didn’t think in terms of traditional depth charts for running backs and receivers.

That came one week after Garrett said in no uncertain terms that Choice was the Cowboys’ third back. So did Choice change the perception of the Valley Ranch decision-makers with his performance at Lucas Oil Stadium?

“I think if you go back and look at Tashard, how he’s played when he’s gotten opportunities, he’s played fairly well. So seeing him make the runs, both inside and outside, that’s stuff that we’ve seen from him before. He’s a good football player. There’s no question about that.”

There is a question about why it took an injury to Barber for Choice to get a chance. We may never get the answer to that one.