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August 06, 2013

Tanner says sometimes his helmet is the only thing defenders can grab, and off it comes

Running back Phillip Tanner said the reason his helmet comes off is because he tries to make it the only thing defenders can grab.

“That’s how I protect myself,” he said. “I drop my helmet down between my shoulders. That’s the only thing for defenders to grab. I try to make it less room for them to hit, and they just seem to grab the helmet.”

Two years ago, Tanner’s helmet also popped off in a preseason game.

He laughed about it.

“It comes off so fast, you can’t even feel it,” he said. “As soon as I spin up out of it, it’s off.”

Tanner made news for more than his helmet in the game. He ran for 59 yards and re-established himself in the Cowboys’ minds after finishing last season as an afterthought.

“I thought he did a really good job staying within the scheme, stretching the runs, cutting the runs up and then, at the end of the runs, he was physical,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He ran hard. A great example for the rest of our team. He’s in competition to make this team. He knows that, and he brings it every day. It was a really good night for him.”

Tanner agreed, and he senses a chance.

“I finished the year last year inactive, not even playing,” he said. “So going to the offseason, it was just imagining, wanting to get back out there and establish my identity. But I give all credit to the offensive line. They made it real easy for me. Those guys come out there playing with confidence. It was fun. Just having fun.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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