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The Cowboys' Running Game Could be Affected by the Draft

Derek MajorCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2010

The Cowboys three headed running attack—Smash, Dash, and Tash—could be seeing some changes on draft day. 

We all know that Felix Jones isn't going anywhere. All last season Jerry Jones talked about how Felix needed to get more carries and more opportunities on the field. He showed during the end of the season, and in the playoffs, that he could carry the weight and be a starter. Now it seems that Jones will be going into this season as the starter. 

Marion Barber and Tashard Choice's futures in Dallas are in serious doubt, however. 

Marion was anything but a barbarian last season. Granted he was hurt, but—as shown in the picture above—he stopped running with conviction after week two against the Giants. Because of that, there are now rumors that he could be traded for another first or second round pick. 

Tashard Choice had a solid season, playing great when Barber or Jones was hurt—especially early in the season. However, when they were healthy Choice sat on the bench, or only ran once or twice in the wildcat formation. Choice had less than five carries in every game from week five until the end of the regular season. 

While Choice didn't complain during the season (unlike LT, LJ, or Leon Washington, who's now sitting out OTA's) after the season ended he did tactfully express his desire for more playing time, or to be moved to a team that had the space for him.   

Trade rumors were abound right after the season ended when the San Diego Chargers put Antonio Cromartie on the trading block, but trading Choice for Cromartie made no sense, and Cromartie ended up going to the Jets.  

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However, we all know that running backs are always available (Currently Ladell Betts, Chris Brown, Willie Parker, and Jamal Lewis are still unsigned) and can be successful in the right scheme (just look at the Broncos during the late 90's), so the Cowboys front office may be looking for a bit more help at the expense of giving up Barber or Jones. 

The Cowboys shouldn't be quick to take the bait, however. Dallas did pretty well with these guys last season. Barber's bruising style (when he's healthy) and Jones speed go well together, and Choice is a jack of both styles, although a master of none. Breaking up this team could have an negative effect on next year's team. 

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