IRVING, Texas --Last week head coach Jason Garrett told his players the story of Wally Pipp, the former New York Yankee who lost his spot in the lineup to a youngster named Lou Gehrig.
Today, "Wally Pipp" is a verb in sports vernacular that means getting replaced while sidelined by injury. Garrett's story wasn't a warning to his banged-up players. It was simply a famous example of a player (Gehrig) seizing opportunity.
Running back Tashard Choice says Garrett's favorite phrase is "next starter up." Choice could find himself in a familiar role if Felix Jones (shoulder) is out or limited next Monday against the Redskins.
"He doesn't even call you a backup," Choice said. "That's how he sees it because he understands the NFL, how people get hurt all the time."
Jones went in and out of the lineup Sunday against the 49ers and was unable to finish the game due to a dislocated shoulder. At this point, the Cowboys are hopeful he'll be able to play.
Choice, who has filled in for Jones and ex-Cowboy Marion Barber since 2008, had five carries for five yards and two catches for 24 yards. Rookie DeMarco Murray added six carries for 21 yards.
"Same situation," Choice said. "If I get a chance on a big stage again, Monday Night Football, time to perform."
Choice said his biggest challenge is conditioning. A calf injury sidelined him for most of training camp, and a swollen knee sidelined him for the preseason finale. He's healthy now, but not quite in the shape he wants to be.