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Cowboys vs Giants: Cowboys Score 31 Points Despite Season-Low Snap Count

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Want to know which Cowboys players were on the field for how many snaps? Look no further.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For the fifth game in a row, the Cowboys defense was on the field for more snaps than the offense. This is a little worrying, as part of the early-season success of the Cowboys was based on low defensive snap counts.

Cowboys Snap Count by Week

49ers
Titans Rams Saints Texans Seahawks Giants Redskins Cardinals Jaguars Giants
Offense 69 80 56 66 76 75 62 65 64 60 54
Defense 58 49 76 61 59 49 63 67 67 71 73

The offense was on the field for a season-low 54 snaps, but that didn't stop Tony Romo and his teammates from scoring 31 points, or 0.57 points per snap, a highly efficient value. For comparison, the Eagles scored the most points on Sunday, putting up 41 points against the defensively challenged Titans. 34 of those points were scored by their offense, which was on the field for 87 snaps. That gives the Eagles 0.39 points per snap, slightly above the league average of 0.33 points per snap (excluding defensive and special teams scores). Here's an overview of the scoring efficiency of the five team that scored more than 30 points yesterday:

Scoring efficiency Week 12
Cowboys Dolphins Broncos Patriots Eagles
Snaps 54
62
75
78
87
Points on offense 31
36
39
34
34
Points per Snap
0.57
0.58
0.52
0.44
0.39

The defense was on the field for the second highest snap count of the season, in large part due to an inability to get off the field on third downs. The Giants were 11-of-16 for a 69% third down conversion rate, the highest rate the Cowboys defense has allowed all season.

3rd down conversions allowed

SF
TEN STL NO HOU SEA NYG WAS ARI JAC NYG
3rd down percentage
48% 20% 62% 40% 31% 38% 38% 43% 60% 29% 69%

The high snap count did end up putting a strain in the defense, at least in terms of snaps played, as only one player, J.J. Wilcox, managed to play every single defensive snap.

Cowboys' Defensive Snap counts vs Giants
Defensive Tackles Defensive Ends Linebackers Cornerbacks Safeties
Player Snaps Player Snaps Player Snaps Player Snaps Player Snaps
Hayden 51 Mincey 50 Hitchens 69 Carr
73 Wilcox
75
T. Crawford 48 Selvie 41 R. McClain
59 Scandrick 70 Church 60
Melton 31 Spencer 31 Carter 36 Moore 57 Heath
10
J. Crawford 23 D. Lawrence
26 Wilber 6
Spillman
9

On offense, the Cowboys kept their 'A' personnel on the field for almost the entire game. Over the course of the season, the Cowboys have shown a tendency to give DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams the occasional breather. Against the Jaguars for example, Bryant (73%), Williams (68%), and Murray (60%) all played less than three quarters of the total snaps. Yesterday they all has a much higher percentage as Murray (94%), Bryant (93%), and Williams (89%) hardly took a breather.

Cowboys' Offensive Snap counts vs Giants
QB O-Line RB TE WR
Player Snaps Player Snaps Player Snaps Player Snaps Player Snaps
Romo 54
Smith 54 Murray 51 Witten 54 Bryant 50
Leary 54 Clutts 10 Hanna 12 Williams 48

Frederick 54 Dunbar 2 Escobar 11 Beasley 22


Martin 54 Randle Street 5

Free 54

Harris 3

Parnell 1


Wilcox: one snap as the deep cover back on the final kneel down

And finally, on to special teams:

Special Teams Aces
Player Snaps Player Snaps
Wilber
23 J. Crawford
17
Spillman 19 Church
14
Harris 19 Wilcox 14
Lawrence 19 Hanna
13

J.J. Wilcox gets the nod for this week's ironman award, with 75 defensive snaps, 14 special teams snaps, and one offensive snap for exactly 90 snaps played yesterday, the most of any player on the team.