MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- When Jerry Jones says a player has made the 53-man roster, there can be little doubt about the player’s future.
After Thursday’s 17-3 loss to the Dolphins, Jones said undrafted rookie running back Phillip Tanner, a Dallas Kimball grad, had made the team.
“It’s a blessing, but once it’s official I’ll rejoice,” Tanner said. “This is just the preseason and we lost the game, so it’s disappointing. There’s still a lot of work to do.”
Tanner had signed with Hartford of the UFL but joined the Cowboys after the lockout when that league suspended operations. Tanner had six carries for 28 yards against the Dolphins and finished the preseason with 128 yards on 24 carries.
“I feel like I took advantage of my opportunities,” Tanner said. “I worked every day trying to get better at every aspect of my game and finish every play.”
If Tanner is on the team, then the Cowboys could keep four tailbacks on the 53-man roster with Felix Jones, Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray rounding out the group. Choice did not play Thursday because of a bruised knee and did not make the trip to Florida. It is possible he could be on the bubble or trade bait.
Jones admitted the decision could complicate how the team puts together the final roster.
“That’s what happens at the end of the roster is you end up going long some places,” Jones said. “You end up going short in others … But going long in a position is a good thing. It also complicates things a little bit. But we can handle this.”