The fourth preseason games is traditionally the game where the backups see most of the playing time and the starters are generally relegated to the bench. That was the plan for the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, but to execute that plan they need help from an old friend at the running back position.
Dallas will re-sign running back Phillip Tanner to help carry the load on Thursday night. Dallas plans to rest starter DeMarco Murray and sort-of-co-starter Lance Dunbar, leaving Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams as the primary running backs. But, both of those guys are dealing with minor injuries. Randle has an oblique strain while Williams has a groin issue. It is uncertain if both or either could play, and just how long they could play. Hence the signing of Tanner, who obviously knows the Cowboys playbook and he can seamlessly fill the void for the game. It also allows him another shot at creating some interest from other teams as he tries to latch on somewhere in the NFL after being released by the Colts.
Intriguingly, the article at the mothership also states that other players are likely to be signed before the game, meaning we'll see more of a roster shakeup.