Tashard Choice next Cowboys player to be traded?
Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas is reporting that the Cowboys are fielding trade offers for running backs Marion Barber and Tashard Choice. A trade of Barber looks highly unlikely, though, as Barber’s contract should probably scare away any suitors.
Interestingly, while the Cowboys have shot down the possibility of trading Barber, they haven’t ruled out dealing Choice. The team probably believes that with Choice’s talent, they could receive a player who could make a bigger impact than the third-string running back.
They’re wrong. I explained a couple days ago why I think Choice is the team’s best running back. He’s not flashy like Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson, but he does everything really, really well. In a recent installment of our “22 in 22” Emmitt Smith Tribute Series, I explained that Emmitt was the same way:
Emmitt Smith is one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, yet I can envision that, 50 years down the line, people will not consider him as such. He rarely cracks people’s lists of the top three running backs of all-time (or even the top five, for that matter). I don’t even know of a person who considers the NFL’s all-time leading rusher to be the league’s best ever running back.
The problem (for others, not for Emmitt) is that Smith wasn’t flashy. He wasn’t big. He wasn’t tremendously fast. He wasn’t even very charismatic off of the field.
Instead, Emmitt possessed the “boring” qualities of running backs (but ones that are just as vital as those above, if not more so): great vision, incredible balance, and remarkable short area quickness. Of course, there’s also the off-field characteristics, such as determination, but I want to focus on why Emmitt’s on-field play was truly under-appreciated.
Does Emmitt’s game remind you of anyone? Not big, not flashy. Great vision, incredible balance, and remarkable short area quickness. If it still isn’t ringing a bell, take a look at my recent notes on Tashard Choice:
Tashard Choice is Dallas’ most complete running back. His balance and vision are incredible.
Now, I’m not saying Choice is as talented as Emmitt or has that sort of future, but he does possess the same characteristics which made Emmitt’s game so incredible, yet so under-appreciated.
From a practical standpoint, Dallas will be very sorry if they unload Choice. Barber and Jones don’t exactly have a great history of health. What happens when one of them gets hurt this season? You ready to roll with Lonyae Miller or Herb Donaldson as your primary backup? Yikes.
In my “Grading the ‘Boys”: Running Backs segment, I provided Choice with a ‘B+’ overall grade for his play in 2009. There were four components to that grade, and as you might expect with Choice, he was consistently good in all of them. A ‘B+’ for short-yardage running, a ‘B’ for overall running, a ‘B+’ for receiving, and an ‘A-‘ for pass protection.
In my opinion, trading Choice because he’s so talented is analogous to buying a Ferrari and letting it sit in the garage forever. Yeah, it’s nice to have a Ferrari, but it isn’t all that much fun if you don’t drive it. It would be stupid to trade in the Ferrari for a Hyundai simply because you’d get more use out of the Hyundai. How about, oh I don’t know, you drive your Ferrari?
Don’t trade Choice simply because you think another player might get more playing time. You don’t need a Hyundai, Jerry–you’re rich.
And you’ve got a Ferrari sitting in the garage, just aching for his opportunity to be driven.