Not practicing since the first day of training camp, Tashard Choice hasn't been saying a whole lot to the media. But he has been listening.
And on his first day back to practice Tuesday after a near month-long absence because of a strained calf, Choice made it clear to reporters that he has no problems competing against his teammates. He's just not a fan of being pitted against them.
"It's always a competition. That's just the nature of the beast being here as a Cowboy," Choice said Tuesday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium. "You're going to have competition. I like competition. What I don't like is when they make it seem like it's all just against me. Everybody's putting competition against Tashard. That's fine, let it be that. But I'm there for my teammates."
Choice also said he's out to prove himself against a few other notions he's hearing from his critics.
"I'm proven enough for my teammates and coaches. They know what I bring to the game and what I bring to the football team," Choice said. "Now is the time for me to get over the hump. I've heard, 'he can't block. He can't play special teams.' That's fine. I'm just going to go out there and work. All I can do is be the best Tashard I can be."
Even with that, the question will remain if that is good enough to keep him around.
Obviously the Cowboys are riding with Felix Jones as the starter. And with DeMarco Murray also practicing for the first time on Tuesday, he will have a big role considering his draft status and natural upside.
And if backups Phillip Tanner and Lonyae Miller provide a better option on special teams, then it begs the question if Choice will have a role.
Either way, Choice says he's not rooting against anyone.
"I just wanted to get back healthy and be there for my team," Choice said. "Those guys are supposed to do well. I want them to do well. You never want nobody at your position not to do well. That's why Marion did the same for me. I do the same for those guys."