Today we’re going to review all the snap counts from Sunday’s game to get a better feel for what is happening all over the roster. With more and more starters missing, a significant amount of the snaps are being taken by players previously considered backups - or just recently signed.
On to the snap counts on offense
|Cowboys' Offensive Snap counts vs Falcons (53 total snaps)
Running Back: The running backs showed what they are capabale of when they rushed for 131 yards and four TDs in the first half. In the second half, when they rushed for -4 yards, the coaches showed what happens to the running game when you allow the opponent to stack the box.
Wide Receiver: Williams was targeted twice (no catches), Beasley was targeted four times (four receptions). Outside of that the receivers had 123 snaps of futility.
Backups: Brandon Weeden is the obvious backup here, and you don't expect to lose when you put up 28 points and have 14-point leads three times in a game. But you also can't really expect to win when you don't throw the ball deep. La'el Collins is the other backup here, subbing for the injured Ronald Leary, though the dropoff in performance wasn't as noticeable here. Charles Brown and Brice Butler are the most recent additions to see snaps on offense.
On to the defense:
|Cowboys' Defensive Snap counts vs Giants (74 total snaps)
|Defensive Tackles||Defensive Ends||Linebackers||Cornerbacks||Safeties|
In the season opener against the Giants, Davon Coleman, Ken Bishop, and Ryan Russell were gameday inactives. Against the Eagles, Coleman played 15 snaps. On Sunday, those three players were asked to play 86 combined snaps. On Monday, the Cowboys released Coleman, and today signed David Irving off the Chiefs practice squad. I'm getting visions of 2013 ...
But the biggest issue for the defense were the 74 total snaps they had to stay on the field for, a -21 snap differential versus the 53 offensive snaps. They started off the year with a +9 differential against the Giants and a +23 differential against the Eagles. For the Cowboys, limiting the snaps of their defense was (and remains) a key part of their success model, and Sunday's -21 was their worst differential in quite a while, as the snap count tally from last year shows:
|Cowboys Snap Count by Week, 2014
You'll also notice that Sunday's 53 snaps are lower than any game last season and lower than the first two games (71 & 85), yet the Cowboys still managed to score 28 points.
And with that, we move on to special teams:
|Special Teams Aces|
|Patmon||20||two tied w. 13|
That makes J.J. Wilcox our ironman from Sunday, as he played on all 74 defensive snaps and added 14 special teams snaps for a total of 88 snaps.