Coming out of training camp, Lonyae Miller had that role of "camp surprise" even though it was very premature considering there isn't any tackling going on.
The games obviously mean more for any position, especially at running back.
And after two games, it's clear to me that Phillip Tanner is just a little bit better than Miller. He may not know the offense as much and maybe he gets trucked on a blitz pick-up – which is certainly a big deal considering the starting quarterback missed 10 games last year when a fullback missed a block that ended Romo's season, but Tanner has something about him when he gets the ball in his hands.
And he doesn't stop when his helmet comes off, even though new NFL rules state the play is over. So Jason Witten's memorable play against the Eagles will always stand out because the NFL is eliminating that from happening again.
Still, for an undrafted rookie from Middle Tennessee State, the visual of Tanner running into the end zone without a lid might help his overall chances .
"Absolutely . . . he's shown up," Garrett said of Tanner. "He's shown up since day one. A guy who hasn't been with us all offseason and is really just learning the offense from the start of camp, but he's picked it up. He has a knack for playing and has really good instincts. He's shown that in every opportunity he's gotten."
And maybe it's time for opportunities, although that might be difficult if DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice are coming back soon. But there's a chance neither of them play next week in Minnesota.
If so, maybe Tanner should get a few more carries than Miller. Maybe Tanner needs second-team reps so we can get a better evaluation.
It'll likely come down to special teams play anyway. But when it comes to running the ball, Tanner seems to have a little more than Miller. And it's to the point the Cowboys should give him more touches.