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Phillip Tanner | Running Back

Team: Dallas Cowboys
Age / DOB:  (25) / 8/8/1988
Ht / Wt:  5'10' / 208
College: Middle Tennessee State
Contract: view contract details
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Latest News

Recent News

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. Feb 23 - 8:33 PM

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Date:

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.

DallasCowboys.com 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 DallasCowboys.com, 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

ESPN Dallas considers RB Phillip Tanner the odd man out after the Cowboys drafted Joseph Randle with the No. 151 pick.

Owner Jerry Jones has already proclaimed Randle as DeMarco Murray's backup, so Tanner will have to fight Lance Dunbar for No. 3 duties. Beat writer Calvin Watkins believes Tanner has fallen out of favor, and will lose his roster spot to FB Lawrence Vickers. Tanner's Dynasty light is flickering.
Source: ESPN Dallas
Mon, May 6, 2013 10:24:00 AM

DallasCowboys.com believes RB Phillip Tanner's chance with the Cowboys may have "come and gone."

Tanner fell behind Lance Dunbar on the depth chart in November, and never moved back up. DallasCowboys.com's Bryan Broaddus believes it was because of Tanner's struggles in pass protection, and even on special teams. That spells doom for a reserve back who's currently due $555,000 in 2013.
Tue, Feb 12, 2013 03:47:00 PM

Coach Jason Garrett attributed Phillip Tanner's Week 9 demotion to special teams duties.

Garrett apparently didn't want to overwork Tanner on offense, preferring instead to go with Lance Dunbar as the change-of-pace back. ESPN Dallas believes Dunbar is "shiftier and quicker" than fill-in starter Felix Jones, though the veteran is expected to draw the start again in Week 10.
Source: ESPN Dallas
Tue, Nov 6, 2012 06:14:00 PM

Phillip Tanner played behind Lance Dunbar in the Cowboys' Week 9 loss to the Falcons.

In a surprise depth chart change, Dunbar was the one rotating with starter Felix Jones. He ended up with eight carries for 26 yards compared to Tanner's one rush for zero yards. With Jones appearing to emerge from the game healthy and DeMarco Murray (foot) a possibility for Week 10, owners can safely move on from Tanner.
Source: ESPN Dallas
Mon, Nov 5, 2012 08:44:00 AM

Phillip Tanner carried the ball twice for zero yards in Dallas' Week 8 loss to the Giants.

He added one catch for 13 yards. Both of Tanner's carries came from the Giants' one-yard line, but he could convert neither into a score. With DeMarco Murray possibly on track for a Week 9 return, Tanner's probably no longer worth a speculative-bench spot.
Sun, Oct 28, 2012 08:38:00 PM

Phillip Tanner has taken "plenty" of first-team practice reps this week.

Tanner tied a career-high with 13 carries last week while playing two more snaps than Felix Jones. If one of Jones' various injuries knocks him out of Sunday's game versus the Giants, Tanner will finish as the feature back. Rotoworld ranks him No. 34 among running back options for Week 8.
Thu, Oct 25, 2012 06:17:00 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Tony Romo
2Brandon Weeden
3Caleb Hanie
4Kyle Orton
RB1DeMarco Murray
2Lance Dunbar
3Joseph Randle
GLB1DeMarco Murray
2Joseph Randle
3RB1DeMarco Murray
2Lance Dunbar
FB1Tyler Clutts
WR11Dez Bryant
2Cole Beasley
3Lance Lewis
4Tim Benford
WR21Terrance Williams
2Dwayne Harris
3Jamar Newsome
WR31Cole Beasley
TE1Jason Witten
2James Hanna
3Gavin Escobar
K1Dan Bailey