IRVING, Texas --Phillip Tanner never gave the Cowboys an excuse to keep only three running backs.
Just as Jerry Jones hinted after Thursday's preseason finale, the Middle Tennessee Standout and Dallas native is one of four backs on the 53-man roster.
"Don't let anyone define your future for you," Tanner said Saturday after final cuts. "Work hard at your craft every day. And at the end of the day, you will experience success."
Tanner's also one of four undrafted rookies on the initial 53, joining offensive lineman Kevin Kowalski, linebacker Alex Albright and kicker Dan Bailey. It's an impressive feat, considering the Cowboys' coaching staff had never been around any of them until the lockout ended in late July.
And hey, throw wide receiver Raymond Radway into the mix, too. A fractured tibia/fibula has ended his season, but he'll be around all season on injured reserve and could compete for a spot next year.
The Cowboys kept four rookie free agents last year, too: Phil Costa, Danny McCray, Barry Church and Chris Gronkowski. Only Gronkowski didn't make this year's team.