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Tanner glad for opportunity, open for whatever

08/29/2014 12:01 AM

08/29/2014 12:03 AM

Running back Phillip Tanner got the start against the Broncos in the preseason final after officially signing with the Cowboys just hours earlier.

He was added because the Cowboys needed help to get through the game because of injuries to running backs Ryan Williams and Joseph Randle and the decision to rest front-line players DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar.

D.J. Adams was the only other back available, but he joined the Cowboys two weeks into camp and had not yet grasped the entire offense.

Tanner, who played with the Cowboys the last three years, proved to be perfect fill in after being cut by the Colts earlier this week.

He got the start ahead of Adams and led the Cowboys with 26 yards on eight carries.

“The opportunity to play in the NFL between those hashes is always a great experience, no matter what logo is on the side of your helmet,” Tanner said. “But being able to come back and play for the team I played for the last three years was a lot of fun. I had fun out there and played as well as I could. It was a bad thing that we couldn’t get the win but it was a hard-fought game where everybody fought.”

Tanner was simply a body for the game and remains a long shot to make the roster as the Cowboys have four running backs they really like and already making a tough decision on whether to keep Williams or Randle or both.

Tanner, however, said he is open to changing positions and would consider making the move to fullback if it helped his chances.

“I’m here for whatever,” Tanner said. “If they need me to change lights, I’ll change lights. If they need me to take out the trash, I’ll take out the trash. Whatever they need me to do here to make this team, I am willing to do it.”

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Charean Williams has covered the NFL for 21 seasons. She's a Hall of Fame voter, a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America and a proud Aggie. Follow her on Twitter at @NFLCharean

E-mail: cjwilliams@star-telegram.com

Clarence E. Hill Jr. has been the Dallas Cowboys beat writer since 1997. He's battle tested with one playoff win, six coaches, countless scandals, controversies and unfullfilled expectations. Follow him on Twitter at @clarencehilljr

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Drew Davison joined the Star-Telegram as a correspondent in 2007, primarily covering high schools along with helping out with Rangers, Cowboys and colleges coverage. He became one of the Rangers beat writers in July 2011, and also assists with coverage of Texas Motor Speedway and the Cowboys during the offseason. Davison graduated from the University of Kansas and had internships at The Kansas City Star and MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @drewdavison

E-mail: ddavison@star-telegram.com

Jimmy Burch is the college sports and golf writer/columnist for the Star-Telegram. He also covers the Dallas Cowboys and other Dallas-Fort Worth pro sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Jimmy_Burch

E-mail: jburch@star-telegram.com

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