Phillip Tanner
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Phillip Tanner
Phillip Tanner
No. 34, 39
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1988-08-08) August 8, 1988 (age 31)
Dallas, Texas
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:208 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school:Justin F. Kimball (Dallas, Texas)
College:Middle Tennessee State
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:41
Rushing yards:149
Rushing average:2.7
Rushing TDs:2
Receiving yards:93
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Phillip Tanner (born August 8, 1988) is a former American football running back. He played college football at Middle Tennessee State University.

Early years

Tanner attended Justin F. Kimball High School, where, as a junior he was named All-district after posting 1,395 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns.

In his final year, he rushed for 1,705 yards and scored 29 touchdowns, on his way to being named All-district and District Player of the Year. He finished his high school career with 4,275 rushing yards and 76 touchdowns. He also lettered in track.

College career

Tanner accepted a scholarship from Middle Tennessee State University. As a true freshman, he played 13 games as a defensive back in nickel situations, tallying 16 tackles and one sack. He also practiced track.

The next year, he was switched to running back, playing in nine games (one start), while recording 64 carries for 299 yards and 4 touchdowns. As a junior, he played in 12 games (4 starts), leading the team in rushing yards (714) and rushing touchdowns (15), while also becoming the first player in Sun Belt Conference history to receive both Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Week awards in the same week.

He became a full-time starter as a senior, but was forced to redshirt after starting two games, because of a bone contusion he suffered in his knee during a game. In 2010, he recorded 13 starts, 160 carries for 928 yards (led the team) and 13 touchdowns. He finished his collegiate career with 430 carries for 2,024 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also lettered in track.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Tanner signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft.[1] On August 21, playing against the San Diego Chargers at Cowboys Stadium, he lost his helmet while scoring a touchdown in the second half of the game. A new rule canceled the touchdown, because it states that if any player loses his helmet while receiving, running, or intercepting a football, the play will end once the helmet has hit the field.[2] He recorded his first professional carry and touchdown on October 23, against the St. Louis Rams. On December 9, he was placed on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury.

He recorded 9 special teams tackles in 2012 and 2013.

On February 23, 2014, after he was set to count $1.389 million against the salary cap, the Cowboys did not offer a restricted free agent tender, making him a free agent.[3] During his time with the team, he mainly played on special teams, while registering 56 carries for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns as a backup running back.

Indianapolis Colts

On July 29, 2014, Tanner was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent, after releasing running back Chris Rainey.[4][5] He was cut on August 20.

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)

On August 27, 2014, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys to play in the last game of the preseason, because of injuries at the running back position. He was released on August 30.[6]

Buffalo Bills

On October 21, 2014, Tanner was signed by the Buffalo Bills after injuries to Fred Jackson and C. J. Spiller.[7] He was cut on November 20, to make room for tight end MarQueis Gray.

San Francisco 49ers

On December 17, 2014, he was signed as a free agent by the San Francisco 49ers.[8] He wasn't re-signed at the end of the year, after playing in the final two games mainly on special teams.


Tanner entered the coaching ranks, and in 2019 was serving as a special teams assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys, his original team. [9]


  1. ^ "Cowboys Corner: Cowboys' rookie FAs include six Texans". 2011-07-27. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Yasinskas, Pat (18 August 2010). "Lose a helmet, lose a play". ESPN. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "Cowboys won't tender Phillip Tanner". Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ Archer, Todd (9 December 2011). "Cowboys put Phillip Tanner on IR". ESPN Dallas. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Cowboys give Sensabaugh 5-year extension". FOX News. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ "For one night at least, Tanner a Cowboy again". Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Bills place C.J. Spiller on IR-recall, sign Phillip Tanner". Retrieved 2014.
  8. ^ Staff, 49ers. "49ers Sign RB Phillip Tanner, Place TE Garrett Celek on IR". Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ "Phillip Tanner". Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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