Phillip Tanner RB DAL 5 Months

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.

Phillip Tanner RB DAL 9 Months

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.

Phillip Tanner RB DAL 9 Months

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.

Phillip Tanner RB DAL 11 Months

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 the Cowboys 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.

Phillip Tanner RB DAL 12 Months

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.

Phillip Tanner RB DAL Jul 19 '132 Comments

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

Tanner has gotten attention as somebody who has "physically remade his body" this 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.

Phillip Tanner RB DAL Jun 21 '13

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 had "remade" his body. "I lost a little weight and leaned up a little bit," Tanner 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. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already anointed rookie Joseph Randle as his No. 2 back.

Phillip Tanner RB DAL May 28 '13

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.

Phillip Tanner RB DAL May 06 '13

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.

Phillip Tanner RB DAL Feb 12 '13

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.