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Tashard Choice: The Peoples Choice

Tashard “Duece” Choice was born on November 20, 1984 in Thomasville,Georgia. Tashard attended Lovejoy Highschool where he wore #2, thats where he got his nickname “Duece”. Choice was a finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman and graduated in the top 20 of his class with a 3.9 gpa.

Tashard attended Georgia Tech where he earned Second Team All ACC and ESPN All Bowl Team honors in 2006 and ACC All Academic Team, First Team All ACC and Honorable Mention All America by Sports Illustrated 2007.Tashard Started his College football career in 2003 at Oklahoma where he redshirted his freshman year.

In 2004 Tashard served as a back up for true freshman Adrian Peterson. Peterson went on to be a Heisman Trophy finalist and Oklahoma found itself in the BCS title game once again. Tashard Choice only took 22 carries and gained 100 yards the entire year (all in two games). His best game at Oklahoma saw him garner 71 yards on 16 carries against Texas Tech. At the end of the season, his mother fell ill and Tashard Choice applied for a medical hardship to return home and play for Georgia Tech. His hardship was granted and he transferred to Tech by Spring 2005.

In 2005 Tashard arrived at Georgia Tech as a Sophomore and found himself behind P.J. Daniels on the depth chart, Daniels and Choice combined for over 150 all purpose yards per game and 11 touchdowns. Tashard Choice’s most notable appearance occurred in the upset of then #3 Miami Hurricanes. P. J. Daniels was injured in practice so Tashard Choice was announced the starter for the game. He carried the football 29 times for 84 yards and a touchdown. The victory guaranteed Tech a bowl appearance and solidified Tashard Choice’s role as a competent starter for the 2006 season.

In 2006 Tashard lead the Yellow Jacket rushing attack. becoming the first Yellow Jacket to rush for 1,000 yards since P.J. Daniels in 2003. Tashard Choice set several Tech records in 2006. He rushed for over 100 yards per game 9 times and had 7 straight 100 yard efforts, both Tech records. Tashard Choice accounted for 12 of Tech’s 42 offensive touchdowns. Tashard Choice along with All-American Calvin Johnson and senior quarterback Reggie Ball took Tech to the Atlantic Coast Conference Title Game as the Coastal Division Champions. Choice would also lead Tech to its tenth straight bowl game against West Virginia in the 2007 Gator Bowl. Choice sliced and diced his way through opponents in 2006 and is a preseason pick for several 2007 Heisman Trophy lists.

In 2007 Tashard lead the Yellow Jackets powerful ground game behind four returning starters on the offensive line and veteran fullback Mike Cox. As the reigning ACC Rushing Champion, Tashard Choice was looking to improve upon 2006’s 9 win season with new offensive coordinator John Bond featuring the single back formation. Tashard Choice currently had 1,310 yards rushing on 249 attempts and 10 touchdowns even with injuries to his hamstring and to his knee. Tashard Choice concluded his NCAA career on the “Smurf Turf” of Boise against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the Humanitarian Bowl. He was used in a limited role in Georgia Tech’s 40-28 defeat. Tashard Choice best statistical game was against the University of Miami, posting 204 yards rushing with a sore hamstring. he also recorded his first passing touchdown of his career to Taylor Bennett.

Tashard’s Pro Career started in 2008 when he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the NFL Draft made his first touchdown during the first 2008 pre-season game against San Diego. Choice made his first start agaist the Pittsburgh Steelers running for 88 yards against the then #1 rushing defense in the league. Tashard finished the season with 472 yards off of 92 attempts, He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and had two touchdowns. Tashard has plenty more seasons to contribute to the Dallas Cowboys like he did in his 3 game starting span with Marion Barber going down with a toe injury and Felix Jones being out all season and with the performances Tashard had he has grasped his role in the Dallas Cowboys offense for 2009.

Legends of the Star – Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker started his football career while playing for the University of Georgia. In his freshman year, he set an NCAA rushing record and helped his team win the national title. He earned All-American honors three consecutive years, set 10 NCAA records, 15 Southeast Conference records, 30 Georgia all-time records, and capped a sensational college career by earning the 1982 Heisman Trophy in his third and final year.

In 1983, Walker turned professional and joined the New Jersey Generals of the now defunct United States Football League. Herschel was absolutely dominating and was considered by many to be the best and most electrifying player in football. He won the leagues Most Valuable Player award and set the all-time single season pro football rushing record with 2411 yards.

In 1986, Herschel Walker joined the Dallas Cowboys, and in his first season with the team he led the NFL in rushing and scored 14 touchdowns. His best year came in 1988 when Herschel rushed for 1,514 yards. He earned Pro Bowl honors with the Cowboys in 1987 and 1988. During his years with the Cowboys he was their most talented and most popular player, but the team was not winning.

In the middle of the1989 season, the Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in a deal that would change the face of the Cowboys for years to come. Besides receiving 5 players, the Cowboys also received a total of six draft picks, two of which were used to draft Emmit Smith and Darren Woodson. Jimmy Johnson used the other draft picks to make trades with other teams around the NFL which led to drafting Russell Maryland with the first overall draft pick in 1991. This trade has long been considered one of the most lopsided deals in NFL history.

After continuing his career as one of the premier running backs in the league, Herschel would later return to Dallas in 1996 and retired as a Cowboy in 1997.

Walker was one of the most productive players in the history of football and even if you discount his 3 seasons with the USFL, he still had 82 career touchdowns, 8,225 rushing yards, 4,859 receiving yards, and 5,084 kickoff-return yards. He is the only player to have 10,000+ yards gained on offense and 5,000+ yards on kickoff returns.

Although his career as Cowboy was not that long, during his years with the team he was the lone bright spot despite the fact that the team never made the play-offs. His contribution to the team in terms of trade value transformed the team into the most powerful team in the NFL for an entire decade. 

Walker was one of the top running backs in the pros, gaining more yards than anyone in professional football history, counting his seasons in both the NFL and USFL. He finished his professional career with a total of 8,225 yards and 61 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 512 passes for 4,859 yards and 21 scores.

 
Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys.