|Posted on September 3, 2011 at 3:40 AM|
COWBOYS 4 LIFE! SUPERBOWL BOUND!
It was hard for Phillip Tanner to walk off the field with a good feeling in Miami on Thursday night.
The Dallas Cowboys rookie running back had just watched another rookie, receiver Raymond Radway, carted off with a season-ending broken leg.
His mind couldn't really stay on what he would normally be thinking about -- how close he has come to landing a spot on the 53-man roster for the Cowboys.
"Seeing Radway go down, it's just a prime example of you never know when your last play is going to be," he said. "So I feel good just being able to walk off the field."
But today, when the Cowboys are scheduled to make their final cuts, Tanner can bask in what he has accomplished in training camp and four preseason games with the Cowboys. The Dallas Kimball High School and Middle Tennessee State product led the Cowboys in rushing in the exhibition season and impressed owner Jerry Jones, coach Jason Garrett and teammates. Jones declared that Tanner had made the team Thursday night.
"They should hear his coaches talk about how exceptional he is," Jones said, meaning Cowboys fans, after the final preseason game. "They make statements like, 'We've never seen anybody as conscientious, work as hard, take notes, figuring out ways to get better.'"
Tanner rushed for 128 yards on 24 carries in preseason, a 5.3 average. He caught one pass for three yards.
"A small-school guy who seemed to transition really well without a lot of off-season practice," Garrett said. "It's a tribute to his commitment. I think he's an instinctive football player who shows up as a runner and also as a receiver and as a pass protector. We like what he's done."
Tanner took advantage of the extra reps in practice afforded him when two of the backs ahead of him, veteran Tashard Choice and third-round pick DeMarco Murray, missed time with injury.
He outperformed second-year veteran Lonyae Miller, who also entered the league as an undrafted free agent. Miller played in four games last season with Dallas.
It all so impressed All-Pro tight end Jason Witten, he had to say so to the 24-year-old rookie in the locker room after Thursday's game.
"I like him a lot," Witten said. "Undrafted free agent coming in after a lockout, they draft a guy at your position, but the opportunity presented itself with Tashard and DeMarco being out. I mean, the guy laid it all on the line, put a lot of tough decisions in the coaching staffs' hands. As a veteran, you know how hard it is in this league, so I've got a lot of respect for him, the way he went about it."
It appears the Cowboys will keep four backs. Felix Jones, Murray and Tanner are locks. Whether Choice gets the fourth spot will be known today.
One day after seemingly securing his spot as the Cowboys' third receiver, Kevin Ogletree was arrested on outstanding warrants Friday in Coppell.
According to police officials, Ogletree was stopped for speeding. Records then showed he had an unpaid speeding ticket and a failure to show a driver's license from a previous stop in Irving.
Ogletree paid a bond of $597 and was allowed to leave. --Article by Carlos Mendez
COWBOYS 4 LIFE! SUPERBOWL BOUND!
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