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Phillip Tanner | Running Back

Team: Unsigned Free Agent
Age / DOB:  (27) / 8/8/1988
Ht / Wt:  5'10' / 208
College: Middle Tennessee State
Contract: view contract details

Latest News

Recent News

49ers signed RB Phillip Tanner.
TE Garrett Celek (ankle) was placed on I.R. to make room. Tanner spent a couple weeks on the Bills' roster in October, but didn't play a snap. He's being brought in by the 49ers with Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle, back) in doubt for Week 16. Alfonso Smith is the only other back on the roster. Wed, Dec 17, 2014 01:10:00 PM

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Player News


Bills signed RB Phillip Tanner.

With C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson both injured, the Bills need a caddie behind Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon. A fourth-year undrafted free agent who spent 2011-13 in Dallas, Tanner has averaged 2.7 yards on 56 career carries. Even in the deepest of leagues, Tanner is a pure desperation add with almost no shot at paying off.
Tue, Oct 21, 2014 01:02:00 PM

Cowboys signed RB Phillip Tanner.

Tanner was brought back simply to carry the load on Thursday night. Joseph Randle (oblique) and Ryan Williams (groin) are both fighting minor injuries. Look for Tanner to be back on the waiver wire come Saturday.
Wed, Aug 27, 2014 12:28:00 PM

Colts waived RB Phillip Tanner.

Tanner's roster spot is being taken by RB David Fluellen, who was acquired from the Eagles on Wednesday. Tanner rushed for a pitiful four yards on eight carries in two preseason games, fumbling once. He's a fringe talent.
Wed, Aug 20, 2014 03:40:00 PM

Colts signed RB Phillip Tanner.

With Vick Ballard tearing his Achilles', Trent Richardson nursing a sore hamstring, and freshly-signed RB Davin Meggett going down in practice, the Colts needed depth behind Ahmad Bradshaw. Tanner, 26 next month, has 56 career carries for 149 yards (2.7 YPC) and two scores. He'll compete for a spot.
Tue, Jul 29, 2014 03:38:00 PM

Free agent RB Phillip Tanner worked out for the Seahawks on Saturday.

It's the first known interest in Tanner since he was non-tendered by Dallas in February. With Marshawn Lynch holding out, Tanner would be a camp body if signed. Seattle also visited with free agents William Powell and Orwin Smith.
Sat, Jul 26, 2014 08:00:00 PM

The Cowboys will not tender restricted free agent RB Phillip Tanner, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The Cowboys are $20 million or so over the 2014 salary cap, and can't afford to pay Tanner the lowest possible RFA tender ($1.389 million). They'd probably take him back at the NFL minimum cost. Tanner turns 26 years old in August and has below-average running ability, but is an effective special teamer.
Sun, Feb 23, 2014 08:33:00 PM

Phillip Tanner rushed twice for eight yards in Dallas' Week 8 loss to the Lions, adding one catch for 17 yards.

Tanner wasn't a big part of the game plan with Lance Dunbar (hamstring) back in action. It's possible he'll be a healthy scratch in Week 9 if DeMarco Murray (knee) is ready to return.
Sun, Oct 27, 2013 05:30:00 PM

Phillip Tanner rushed two times for one yard with a touchdown and caught one pass for seven yards in Sunday's Week 7 win at Philadelphia.

Tanner played on all passing and red-zone situations behind feature back Joseph Randle. He vultured a 1-yard score and handled himself well in protection. Still, that's not enough to be worthy of a fantasy add even if DeMarco Murray (knee) and Lance Dunbar (hamstring) miss more time.
Sun, Oct 20, 2013 05:58:00 PM

Cowboys RB Phillip Tanner has just five carries for three yards and a nine-yard reception through six weeks.

Tanner fumbled in the opener against the Giants, and has played six snaps of offense since. The Cowboys need Tanner to step up his game in Week 6, however, because rookie Joseph Randle struggles in pass protection, and both DeMarco Murray (knee) and Lance Dunbar (hamstring) are on the shelf. Tanner isn't quite a strong flex play, but could play more snaps than people think.
Wed, Oct 16, 2013 10:21:00 PM

Phillip Tanner rushed 14 times for 39 yards in Saturday's fourth preseason game, adding one catch for six yards.

It was a brutal performance, but Tanner appeared well ahead of rookie Joseph Randle on the depth chart. Tanner touched the ball 12 times before halftime, while Randle got the rock just five times before Big D went into clock-killing mode. Unless the Cowboys decide they've seen enough of Tanner at final cuts, he appears poised to serve as DeMarco Murray's handcuff while Lance Dunbar (foot) heals. Tanner has rushed 31 times for 123 yards (3.96 YPC) this preseason.
Sat, Aug 24, 2013 11:26:00 PM

Cowboys RB Phillip Tanner rushed 10 times for 59 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for a loss of two in Sunday's Hall of Fame Game.

Behind Lance Dunbar, Tanner was the second back through the rotation, getting red-zone handoffs after Lamar Miller's first-possession fumble. Tanner's best run came on Dallas' third drive, busting up the middle and carrying Dolphins second-team defenders for 17 yards. He did the same twice more early in the second quarter on runs of 9 and 17, albeit all against backups. Though he lacks ideal first-step explosion, Tanner packs power when he gets a full head of steam. He remains on the bubble with DeMarco Murray, current No. 2 back Dunbar, and probably draft pick Joseph Randle locked into roster spots.
Sun, Aug 4, 2013 10:28:00 PM

ESPN Dallas gives Cowboys RB Phillip Tanner a 75 percent chance of keeping his roster spot.

Tanner has gotten attention after "physically remaking his body" in the offseason, but his career 2.9 yards per carry sticks out like a sore thumb. Reporter Todd Archer speculates the Cowboys could sign a veteran free agent if they don't like what they see from Tanner and rookie Joseph Randle in camp. Tanner isn't going to make a fantasy impact this season.
Source: ESPN Dallas
Fri, Jul 19, 2013 12:44:00 PM

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Cowboys RB Phillip Tanner looked "quicker and more explosive" in OTAs. reported earlier this offseason that Tanner "remade" his body. "I lost a little weight and leaned up a little bit," he said. "I’m able to see things and hit the hole without hesitating." Tanner is in a dogfight with Lance Dunbar for No. 3 duties after being phased out down the stretch last season. Owner Jerry Jones has already anointed rookie Joseph Randle as his No. 2 back.
Fri, Jun 21, 2013 12:25:00 PM

According to, RB Phillip Tanner has "physically remade his body."

Per reporter Bryan Broaddus, Tanner "looks lighter and quicker with the ball in his hands," and has made major strides as a pass catcher. Broaddus was initially skeptical that Tanner would make the team after being phased out down the stretch last season, but now considers him a viable candidate for No. 3 duties behind DeMarco Murray and Joseph Randle. Tanner is competing with Lance Dunbar.
Tue, May 28, 2013 08:34:00 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
QB1Ryan Mallett
2Seth Lobato
3Tim Tebow
4Ryan Lindley
5Stephen Morris
6Bryan Bennett
7Phillip Sims
8Jerry Lovelocke
9Chandler Harnish
10Chase Rettig
11Josh Freeman
12Cody Fajardo
13Shane Carden
14R.J. Archer
15Pat Devlin
16Jake Waters
17Jake Heaps
RB1Joseph Randle
2Dri Archer
3LaMichael James
4Trent Richardson
5Cyrus Gray
6Isaiah Pead
7Zurlon Tipton
8Storm Johnson
9Montee Ball
10Josh Harris
11Pierre Thomas
12LaVance Taylor
13Mack Brown
14Keshawn Hill
15Lache Seastrunk
16Kenneth Harper
17Jawon Chisholm
18Bronson Hill
19Jerome Smith
20Michael Dyer
21Daniel Thomas
22Jeremy Stewart
3RB1Joseph Randle
FB1James Casey
2Erik Lorig
3Joe Don Duncan
4Henry Hynoski
5Austin Johnson
6Trey Millard
7Brad Smelley
8Jordan Campbell
9Toben Opurum
10Emil Igwenagu
11Zach Boren
12Kiero Small
13J.C. Copeland
14Joey Iosefa
15John Conner
16Brandon Cottom
WR11Preston Parker
2Greg Little
3Kris Durham
4C.J. Goodwin
5Chandler Worthy
6Michael Bennett
7Jacoby Ford
8Josh Morgan
9Douglas McNeil
10Frankie Hammond
11Ryan Spadola
12Tevin Reese
13Cobi Hamilton
14Aldrick Robinson
15Armon Binns
16Reggie Dunn
17Nick Harwell
18Vincent Brown
19Carlton Mitchell
20Zach D'Orazio
21Kenzel Doe
22Solomon Patton
23Antwan Goodley
24Ricky Collins
25Terrelle Pryor
26Jarrett Boykin
27Damian Williams
28G.J. Kinne
29Lance Lewis
30Josh Stewart
31Josh Harper
32Titus Davis
33Marquez Clark
34Travis Labhart
35Donatella Luckett
36Deon Long
37DeAndre Carter
38David Porter
39Tyler McDonald
40Ezell Ruffin
41L'Damian Washington
42DaVaris Daniels
WR21Ace Sanders
2Denarius Moore
3Austin Pettis
4Tandon Doss
5Joe Morgan
6Ryan Broyles
7A.J. Jenkins
8Damaris Johnson
9Emory Blake
10Walter Powell
11Onterio McCalebb
12Mike Brown
13Jimmie Hunt
14Devante Davis
15Issac Blakeney
16Vince Mayle
17Milton Williams III
18Bernard Reedy
19Ryan Lankford
20Damarr Aultman
21Rasheed Bailey
22Josh Lenz
23Daniel Rodriguez
24James Butler
25DeVier Posey
26Michael Preston
27Phil Bates
28Marcus Lucas
29Jordan Leslie
30Devon Wylie
31Clyde Gates
32Ryan Whalen
33Tom Nelson
34Shane Wynn
35Levi Norwood
36Trindon Holliday
37Juron Criner
38Demetrius Wilson
39Josh Reese
40Trevor Harman
41Paul Browning
42Reggie Bell
43LaRon Byrd
TE1Dante Rosario
2Kyle Miller
3Anthony McCoy
4Mickey Shuler
5Orson Charles
6Chase Dixon
7D.J. Williams
8Chase Coffman
9Adrien Robinson
10Sean McGrath
11Brian Leonhardt
12Alex Smith
13Steve Maneri
14David Paulson
15Jimmay Mundine
16Brandon Barden
17Gerell Robinson
18Jacob Maxwell
19Jake Murphy
20Ryan Taylor
21Brett Brackett
22Michael Egnew
23Dan Light
LT1David Foucault
LG1Taylor Boggs
C1Jacques McClendon
RG1Shelley Smith
2Jarvis Harrison
K1Kyle Brindza
2Zach Hocker
3Josh Scobee
4Brandon Bogotay
5Michael Palardy
6Carey Spear
7Billy Cundiff
8Andrew Furney
9Mike Meyer
10Ty Long
11Justin Manton
12Corey Acosta
13Patrick Murray
14Tom Obarski
15Giorgio Tavecchio