Week 1, 2010, Cowboys at Redskins, Redskins leading 3-0, 2nd Quarter, :04 left on the clock, Cowboys ball on their own 36. What do you do if you’re Dallas? If you’re sane, you kneel on the football, write off a crappy first half of football, and try to regroup. What did the Cowboys do? They called a Hail Mary… from 64 yards away! Mistakes #1 and #2 go to Jason Garrett for calling the play, and Wade Phillips for not saying “Are you serious, Jason? Kneel on the football.”
Tony Romo drops back to pass, the Redskins get a little bit of a pass rush, and the play is cooked. Rather than aborting the play, sliding down and heading into the locker room, Romo commits mistake #3. He throws this weird, totally ill-advised backhanded lateral shovel pass to Choice, which was insanely risky (stupid) considering there was basically no reward whatsoever. And then of course, Choice commits the final egregious mistake as he gets mugged by DeAngelo Hall, who rips the ball free, scoops it up and runs in for a back-breaker of a TD with no time left on the clock. 10-0 Redskins going into the half, eventually winning the game, and setting the stage for an abysmal Cowboys season. Here it is:
Something happened to Tashard Choice in that game – Jason Garrett no longer trusted him. After that loss to the Redskins, here are the number of carries Choice had the next 10 weeks: 1, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0, 3, 0, 2, 1. That’s a total of 9 carries (less than one carry per game). Despite Marion Barber playing terrible football (Barber was averaging 3.1 yards per carry and 4.5 yards per reception through Week 12), Choice was still buried behind Barber on the depth chart. That of course could have been more on Jerry Jones, who would not be happy seeing his $45 million player (Barber) wasting away on the bench, but that’s for another debate. Choice would have to wait until Week 13 at Indianapolis before he got another chance to see significant action, and that was only because Barber was out with a calf injury.
Fast forward to Redskins-Cowboys this year. 4th quarter, Cowboys ball, down 1, 3rd and 9 from the Redskins’ 24 (already in FG range). The play call is simple. Run, for the love of God, DON’T FUMBLE, and STAY IN BOUNDS so the Skins have to burn a time out before you kick your go-ahead FG. Well, at least Choice held onto the ball this time, but of course, he runs out of bounds stopping the clock, and allowing the Skins to keep an extra time out for their final drive. That’s dumb even for a 10 year old Pop Warner kid.
Oddly enough, Garrett continued to play Choice, until he lost fumbles in consecutive games against the Pats and Rams in limited chances. And then he had seen enough – Tashard was gone.
Since the NFL often doesn’t make any sense, naturally, the team that he had his worst moments against happened to be the team that signed him on Tuesday… the Redskins.
I mean.. I get it. Tim Hightower is out for the season, and the Skins are down to just Roy Helu and Ryan Torain. I guess Evan Royster is so unimpressive that he doesn’t even get a shot at being the #3 back in a season that’s all but down the tubes already? Can he really be that far behind? Anyway, they needed a back – I just find it funny that it’s a very average player that the Skins saw make two absurdly dumb plays against them each of the past two years, first hand. I’ve been on board with most of the front office stuff the Skins have done since the summer, but these are the Redskins I’ve grown to know and love.
Disclaimer – Obviously, I’m a little late on this one. My house has no power, meaning I have no internet, no shower, no TV, no film study… Just a blank Word document on a crappy laptop that has only about 45 minutes of battery life when fully charged. I just feel bad for my co-workers. I must look like Pig Pen from the Peanuts cartoons, stinking so bad that you can actually see the stink emanating off my body.