Cardinals go to rookie Hightower in place of aging James

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TEMPE -- Twelve running backs were chosen ahead of Tim Hightower in the 2008 draft. He wasn't even invited to the NFL combine.

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Yet halfway through his rookie season, Hightower has replaced one of the great names of the past decade as a starter for the Arizona Cardinals.

Edgerrin James only watched from the sideline last Sunday as Hightower rushed for 109 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown run, in the Cardinals' 34-13 victory at St. Louis.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt says the change was made in what has been his consistent approach, to use the players who give the team the best chance to win.

Although James was clearly unhappy with the move, he remains a staunch supporter of Hightower.

Hightower had six touchdowns rushing before he become a starter.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)