It was a frigid night in Pittsburgh when Tashard Choice introduced himself to Cowboys fans. Without starter Marion Barber or second option Felix Jones, the Cowboys were obliged to rely on the greatly-untested rookie Choice against the league's top-ranked defense, on the road at Heinz Field.
Choice responded with 88 yards rushing on 23 carries, and 78 yards on five receptions in a losing effort.
Since then, Choice's role has remained unchanged for the most part, relegated to third-down and Wildcat duties as Jones and Barber, barring injury, take the lion's share of carries. To his credit, Choice is a model teammate.
But he is also a professional athlete, complete with the sort of fierce competitiveness required of any NFL player. That is, he wants more carries; he wants his work in a limited role to lead to an expanded role. More than anything, though, he wants to win a championship, which might explain his patience to some degree, in a slightly, ahem, "sucky" situation.
“It sucks,” Choice admitted on ESPN Radio 103.3’s The Ben & Skin Show last week. "But you have to try and understand the big picture.”
Whether in Dallas or elsewhere, it seems clear that Choice's "big picture" is fairly bright. Choice, by accepting his current role and quietly working to get better, is only making it brighter.
“I know I'm not going to be in this position much longer,” Choice said, per ESPNDallas.com. “All I can do is continue to work.”