The Cowboys brought in two running backs to compete with him, but Phillip Tanner is going to be hard to beat out for the third spot, Stephen Jones says.
“Tanner’s a hard-working guy, and he does a good job for Joe DeCamillis,” Jones said. “Good luck to the guy trying to unseat him. He’d better bring his lunch pail because it’s going to be a hard task to unseat him.”
Tanner, in his second year after making the team last year undrafted out of Middle Tennessee State, led the Cowboys in preseason rushing last year.
The Cowboys signed Lance Dunbar and Ed Wesley to free-agent contracts to compete with him. Wesley replaced Darrell Scott, who failed his physical.
“Obviously, Scott was a little disappointing to us in not being able to pass his conditioning test and the work ethic he has,” Jones said. “We brought in somebody we thought has a better chance. We like him.”
If the third running back can contribute, it could free up Felix Jones for kickoff returns, Jones said.
“We think that will really do wonders for our kicking game, to let them work on that from the get-go,” Jones said, including Dez Bryant on punt returns. “We didn’t do that with Felix last year because he was a starting running back. But I think that will make a big difference for us this year. Both of those guys were tops coming out of college. When they work on it with Joe every day, they will make a big difference in special teams.”
-- Carlos Mendez