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 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?





Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Kansas City 9/23 7:05 PM ET
Cleveland TV: FSN-KC, STO
Baltimore 9/23 7:05 PM ET
NY Yankees TV: MASN, MY9, ESPN
NY Mets 9/23 7:05 PM ET
Washington TV: SNY, MASN 2
Seattle 9/23 7:07 PM ET
Toronto TV: ROOT-NW, SNET
Chicago WSox 9/23 7:08 PM ET
Detroit TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-DET
Pittsburgh 9/23 7:10 PM ET
Atlanta TV: ROOT-PIT, SPSO
Tampa Bay 9/23 7:10 PM ET
Boston TV: Sun Sports, NESN
Milwaukee 9/23 7:10 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: FSN-WI, FSN-OH
Philadelphia 9/23 7:10 PM ET
Miami TV: CSN-PHI, FSN-FL
St. Louis 9/23 8:05 PM ET
Chicago Cubs TV: FSN-MW, WCIU
Houston 9/23 8:05 PM ET
Texas TV: CSN-HOU, FSN-SW
Arizona 9/23 8:10 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-N
LA Angels 9/23 10:05 PM ET
Oakland TV: FSN-W, CSN-CA
San Francisco 9/23 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: CSN-BA, SprtsNet LA, ESPN
Colorado 9/23 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
Thursday
NY Giants 8:25 PM ET
Washington TV: CBS, NFL Network
Sunday
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: FOX
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Oakland TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Jacksonville 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: CBS
Atlanta 4:25 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Philadelphia 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
New Orleans 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: NBC
Monday
New England 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 9/23 7:00 PM ET
Columbus 
Carolina 9/23 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo 
Philadelphia 9/23 7:30 PM ET
Toronto TV: NHL Network
Boston 9/23 7:30 PM ET
Montreal 
Nashville 9/23 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay 
Detroit 9/23 8:30 PM ET
Chicago 
San Jose 9/23 9:00 PM ET
Vancouver TV: NHL Network (JIP)
Arizona 9/23 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim 
Vancouver 9/23 10:30 PM ET
San Jose 
Full Scoreboard