Leaner Tanner determined to keep place in Cowboys backfield

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A
More information Cowboys’ key dates July 19: Report to training camp in Oxnard, Calif. July 21: First training camp practice Aug. 4: Hall of Fame Game vs. Miami Dolphins, Canton, Ohio Aug. 16: Break training camp Sept. 8: Regular-season opener vs. New York Giants, Cowboys Stadium

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Dallas running back Phillip Tanner was virtually phased out of the Cowboys’ offense in the second half of the 2012 season.

The former Dallas Kimball High School standout’s role was reduced, in sharp contrast to his weight. After the Cowboys selected Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle with their fifth-round pick in April’s draft, there were rumblings that Tanner could be the odd man out on the 53-man roster.

Last season, the third-year running back had 25 carries for 61 yards with a long run of 9 yards. He also had four receptions for 41 yards.

The backfield is stacked. DeMarco Murray is the starter, with second-year speedster Lance Dunbar, Randle, undrafted rookie Kendial Lawrence from Missouri and veteran fullback Lawrence Vickers in the stable. Randle had limited work in the off-season because of a thumb injury. His cast will be removed Friday.

But so far this off-season, Tanner has done everything in his power to ensure he’ll be a part of the team, which opens the 2013 season against the New York Giants on Sept. 8.

That starts with his fitness.

“I feel a lot better,” said Tanner, who is listed as 5-foot-10, 217 pounds. “I worked a lot on my quickness and explosiveness. I lost a little weight and leaned up a little bit. I’m able to see things and hit the hole without hesitating. Coming in and working hard every day, working with the offensive line and jelling with my team is the big thing.”

Tanner spent the off-season sprinting and lifting his way into shape. The early results indicate his work was a success. First-year running backs coach Gary Brown said every aspect of Tanner’s game has impressed him thus far.

“From what I’ve seen so far, he looks like he’s in great shape,” Brown said. “He’s studying. He knows what he’s doing and not making any mental errors.”

The Cowboys report to training camp July 19. Their first practice is July 21.

With Tanner’s physique as proof, the way last season ended served as motivation, both from an individual and team perspective.

“We were 8-8 last year. Everybody is hungry,” Tanner said.

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
Minnesota 8/29 7:05 PM ET
Baltimore TV: FSN-N, MASN
Cincinnati 8/29 7:05 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: MLB N, FSN-OH, ROOT-PIT
NY Yankees 8/29 7:07 PM ET
Toronto TV: MLB Network, YES, SNET
Philadelphia 8/29 7:10 PM ET
NY Mets TV: CSN-PHI, SNY
Boston 8/29 7:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: NESN, Sun Sports
Miami 8/29 7:35 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FSN-FL, FSN-S
Detroit 8/29 8:10 PM ET
Chicago WSox TV: FSN-DET, CSN-CHI
Texas 8/29 8:10 PM ET
Houston TV: FSN-SW, CSN-HOU
Cleveland 8/29 8:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: STO, FSN-KC
Chicago Cubs 8/29 8:15 PM ET
St. Louis TV: WGN, FSN-MW
Colorado 8/29 9:40 PM ET
Arizona TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-AZ
Oakland 8/29 10:05 PM ET
LA Angels TV: CSN-CA, FSN-W
Los Angeles 8/29 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: SportsNet LA, FSN-SD
Washington 8/29 10:10 PM ET
Seattle TV: WUSA 9, MASN 2, ROOT-NW
Milwaukee 8/29 10:15 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FSN-WI, CSN-BA
Full Scoreboard
Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 1Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
Seattle TV: NBC
Sunday
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: CBS
New England 1:00 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:25 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Carolina 4:25 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Indianapolis 8:30 PM ET
Denver TV: NBC
Monday
NY Giants 7:10 PM ET
Detroit TV: ESPN
San Diego 10:20 PM ET
Arizona TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard