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Phillip Tanner savors first NFL RB action

10/23/2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It was DeMarco Murray's day.

All the talk will deservedly be about Murray breaking Emmitt Smith's franchise record with 253 rushing yards on 25 carries, including a 91-yard touchdown.

But Murray wasn't the only impressive rookie running back with a star on his helmet Sunday. Phillip Tanner, the undrafted kid from Dallas' Kimball High, looked like he belonged in his first regular-season action at running back.

Tanner carried six times for 34 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

"Oh, man, it was lovely," said Tanner, who earned a roster spot by starring in the preseason. "First of all, I just want to give thanks to the offensive line and Romo and all the guys. When I walk in the huddle, they don’t look at me like, 'Oh, who the hell is this rookie?'"

With Tashard Choice in the doghouse due to his second fumble in two weeks, Tanner took advantage of the opportunity. He had a nifty 17-yard run on his second carry and capped that drive with a 6-yard score.

"Just go in and just take what the defense gives you," Tanner said, describing an aw-shucks approach.

That's not entirely true. For example, on the touchdown run, the Rams defense gave Tanner a 2-yard run. He ran over linebacker Chris Chamberlain and dragged him the final 4 yards.

"That’s just getting all the meat off the bone," Tanner said, "like Coach Garrett teaches all the time."