Dallas Cowboy’s Phillip Tanner And Danny Coale Find Themselves On The Fringe


Once a promising running back pushing for starting time, Cowboy’s running back and a fan favorite, Phillip Tanner might not make the team this year.  Nothing Tanner did, really, just how things unfolded during last season and with this years draft.

Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Phillip Tanner (34) on the field before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles during the game at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Just the way Tanner did in 2011, another Cowboy’s running back, Lance Dunbar, came on the scene last year and provided a spark to the Cowboy’s underwhelming running game.

Moving Tanner down the depth chart.

Still, I liked Tanner’s chances to stay on the team, what with DeMarco Murray’s injury history (starting back at his college days).  But,  then came the draft.  The Dallas Cowboys selected Oklahoma State RB, Joseph Randle – a steal in the 5th round – as Murray’s projected back up.

That leaves the Cowboy’s a little crowded at running back.  In spite of the truth that you can’t have enough good running backs, there are only 53 spots.  Suddenly, in a numbers crunch, I don’t necessarily like Tanner’s chances.  I hear he showed some of the burst he had lost last year in mini camp.  He’s going to need it.

Cowboy’s WR, Danny Coale, on the other hand, has yet to show what he can do.  He may not get the chance, at least not with the Cowboys.

Aug 15, 2012; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Danny Coale (81) at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Last summer at Dallas Cowboy’s training camp in Oxnard, CA, Coale had a shot at the Cowboy’s 3rd wide receiver spot which was wide open at the time.  He was drafted in the 5th round in 2012 out of Virginia Tech as a prospect for the slot WR position and special teams as a returner.  If you followed the Cowboys, you know that the coaches liked him and he was going to be given every opportunity to get that 3rd WR spot.

Then Coale had injury issues (seemed like the entire team had injury issues in training camp last year),  and the door opened up for WRs, Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley – once Beasley decided his heart was in it – and down the depth chart he went.

Danny never did overcome his injuries, but the Cowboys were so high on him, they kept him anyway.  Just like running backs, you can never have too many wide receivers, right?  Of course, thats why the Cowboys took another wide receiver in this years draft.

In what was arguably another steal, the Cowboys selected Terrance Williams, WR, out of Baylor in the 3rd round.  Terrance had a 2nd round grade and was one of the best WR prospects in the draft.  Perhaps a little dig at the rival Washington Redskins, who’s RGIII was throwing passes to Terrance back at Baylor.

Terrance Williams is already being projected as the 3rd WR (sorry Dwayne Harris) and could potentially, and hopefully, take Miles Austin’s spot on the roster some day.  Problem for Danny Coale is that Harris is a near lock to make the team and little Cole Beasley is no slouch either.

Again, you can never have enough of these skill position players, but you can only have 53 players and they can’t all be wide receivers and running backs.  Both these players will be polishing their skills and their math this summer.

Artie Cappello