Signed in the afternoon, Tanner led the Cowboys with 26 rushing yards on eight carries in the 27-3 loss.
“It was fun,” said Tanner, who was cut by the Indianapolis Colts recently after playing the last three seasons in Dallas. “I just took it with the mindset this is the game I’ve played since I was 8 years old and to have the opportunity to come back out here and fight for a roster spot. I was excited about that.”
The Cowboys needed Tanner because they were not going use DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar in the final preseason game and Joseph Randle (oblique) and Ryan Williams (cramping) were battling injuries. The only other back the Cowboys had was D.J. Adams.
Tanner actually started the game.
“He’s an impressive kid,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He really is. It’s easy to see why he was a big part of the team the last few years. He’s a real pro. He has some skill as a runner. He’s a reliable football player. He shows up on special teams.”
He’s not likely to make the final 53-man roster, but for a night Tanner, a Kimball High School grad, was playing for his hometown team again.
“My mindset is whenever I lace it up, this is the shot to make this team, if not somebody else’s team, Tanner said. “My mindset was to give these guys a good impression to bring me back on the 53.”