Phillip Tanner jokes he's tougher than Emmitt

OXNARD, Calif. – It won’t be easy as the Cowboys’ third running back, but Phillip Tanner will do his best to live up to the Emmitt Smith comparisons.

Tanner had a similar surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand that Smith had in the 1990s. Smith missed just one game.

“I’m tougher than Emmitt,” Tanner joked, “so if it took Emmitt a week, I should be back in a day.”

The actual hope is that Tanner will be able to return to practice before the Cowboys head to San Diego. He will be fitted with a special glove much like the one Terrell Owens wore in 2006 after he broke a bone in his hand.

Tanner is wearing a cast on his hand and staying involved in the meetings and walkthroughs.

“I don’t want to get too much out of the football knowledge,” Tanner said.