In the 2013 NFL Hall of Fame game, it looked like there might be a new star backup running back for the Dallas Cowboys in Phillip Tanner. He ran hard and strong, despite starting behind Lance Dunbar. According to ESPN on Aug. 19, Tanner said he has no problems with where he plays in the offense because he is a “company guy.”
It is great that he is so humble, because in the third game of the preseason against the Arizona Cardinals, Tanner never carried the ball one time. DeMarco Murray started the game, Lance Dunbar came in after that, and then the Cowboys decided to give Joseph Randle the carried in the second half.
It is similar to the approach the Cowboys took with their quarterbacks, as they played fourth stringer Alex Tanney and never put third stringer Nick Stephens into the game. Dallas wants to see what their deeper players look like this preseason to see what they can do heading into the 2013 NFL season.
There is a good chance that it is Stephens who will get the most quarterback play in game four, and surely Tanner will get back out there to prove himself once again as well. But, if you ask Tanner, that doesn’t matter.
He said when he plays is not his job to worry about. He said his only job is to go out when they call his number and do the best he can on the field. That is something that Jason Garrett appreciates as well and says that Tanner represents the kind of player he wants on his team.
“I always tell my kids about the dinosaurs all the time,” Tanner said. “People say they were the biggest and baddest, but they couldn’t adapt. If you can’t adapt to change, you see what happened to the dinosaurs. So that’s just my mindset, being able to adapt to whatever the situation is.”