ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28: Tashard Choice #23 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with teammate Marc Colombo #75 after rushing for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Cowboys Stadium on September 28, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
In a move that probably should have been made two weeks ago--when Tashard Choice stacked up a career high 92 yards on a paltry eight carries at Kansas City, and Marion Barber, visibly hurt, almost doubled his workload (15 carries) to the tune of 53 yards and an uncharacteristically low 3.5 average--Jerry Jones said today that Choice would see an increased workload in the coming weeks, according to ESPNDallas.
Although Barber will remain the starter, this might be read as a long-overdue recognition of Choice's worth. The second-year Georgia Tech product has stepped in deftly at every turn, particularly when injury has shelved either Barber or Jones--outsiders, at least, have taken notice, and he is now widely considered Dallas' most durable back. Perhaps Valley Ranch finally got the memo.
"I can tell you Barber is going to be in better shape than he was last week or two weeks ago," Jones said in the report. "But Tashard is certainly earned and going to get a big part of the load."
Sunday's match-up against Atlanta at Cowboys Stadium may be the first time all three backs have been available since week two's loss to the Giants, when Barber was injured on a long run; Jones was hurt the next week, suffering a sprained PCL on an eerily similar play. Barber would only miss one game, however. Jones only returned to practice yesterday, and his game status remains unclear.
"We were pleased with how Felix moved around [Monday]," Jones continued. "But we don't know how sore he's going to be [Tuesday]. I think what we've got, the strength of our team is the running back position. It's the most strength that we've had at any spot and we need to use it and we will use it."