KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 11: Tashard Choice #23 of the Dallas Cowboys breaks away for a touchdown during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 11, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
After Jerry Jones stated on his bi-weekly radio show that Tashard Choice would see an increased workload against Atlanta, Choice saw, well, a significantly decreased workload on Sunday, as Dallas won 37-21. "I can tell you Barber is going to be in better shape than he was last week or two weeks ago," Jones said. "But Tashard certainly earned and is going to get a big part of the load."
What Choice got was one catch for 23 yards and zero carries.
This disconnect could be read several ways. First, for the unabashed Jerry-hater, it will be seen as evidence that Jerry either (a) has no idea what he was talking about, (b) was lying flatly (which seems like an illogical conclusion), or (c) some combination of 'a' and 'b'.
In fairness though, Choice's absence in the Atlanta game probably came from two abundantly obvious sources. First, the Falcons loaded the box to combat the run, which explains in great part how Tony Romo and co. shredded the Atlanta secondary to, well, shreds. Marion Barber, who Jerry named as the starter on that same radio show, got a team-high 14 carries. Felix Jones got eight.
Which brings us to the second plausible explanation for Choice's otherwise-infuriating absence from the offense. Dallas carried the ball 28 times, as opposed to 29 passes. But these numbers are deceiving.
Six of those rushes were Tony Romo's, and Dallas actually lost the overall time of possession battle. This tends to happen with three big, touchdown-resulting plays--"home runs," if you will. Very simply, with only 22 designed runs, someone must be the odd man out. This brings us back to Choice, who has thrived in limited action this season.
Should Dallas actively try to use Choice more often? Probably, but not to the point of straying from a game plan that is working--and on Sunday, the game plan was working. If we've learned anything from the era of Smash Dash and Tash, it's that each will get his moment in the sun over the course of a season
For now, this, above anything else in professional football is a great problem to have, the ever confounding question, "what to do with all these weapons?"