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Snap Counts For The Cowboys’ Offense: Another 400 Yards Against The NFL’s Top Defense

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Who played, and who produced, for the Dallas Cowboys offense? In our weekly look at the snap counts, we’ll evaluate whether Dallas is using it’s players well, and how well each of them is producing.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

This week, and going forward, the format for this article is going to change. Instead of breaking the offense down into every-down players, second-tier guys, and everyone else, it’s going to be broken down just like it is on defense, by position groups. The first group will be the offensive line, then quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends.

Overview

Before we get to that, here’s a quick overview of the offensive game as a whole. The Cowboys won their ninth game in a row, setting a new team record, beating the Baltimore Ravens for the first time 27-17.

Overall, Dallas racked up another 417 yards on offense, for the eighth game in a row over 400 yards, extending the franchise record they just set. This also ties them for the longest such streak in NFL history with the 2007 Patriots and 2013 Broncos. Against the best rushing defense in the NFL, the Cowboys gained 118 tough yards. As a result, their rushing yards per game slipped to 157, putting them a yard behind Buffalo. In points per game they are now tied for third with New Orleans at 28.5. Dak Prescott is now third in passer rating at 108.6 and third in adjusted yards per attempt at 9.1. The Cowboys remain first in points per drive at 2.85.

Needless to say, this is an impressive offense, and it all starts up front.

Offensive Line

These are the snaps through games 1-9, the snaps of week 10, the total, and the percentage of play. There were 71 snaps on offense this week.

Player Pos Games Gms 1-9 Gm 10 Total Season Percent
Travis Frederick C 9 627 71 698 698 100%
Zack Martin G 9 627 71 698 698 100%
Doug Free T 9 623 71 694 698 99%
Tyron Smith T 7 475 71 546 698 78%
Ronald Leary G 7 428 71 499 698 71%
La'el Collins G 3 186 186 698 27%
Chaz Green T 4 151 151 698 22%
Joe Looney C 9 43 12 55 698 8%
Emmett Cleary T 6 5 5 698 1%

We can now see that Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Doug Free have been the rocks of the line. Tyron Smith is next, followed by Ron Leary. They all played 71 snaps this week. It was tough sledding against a formidable Ravens front, but in the second half, they wore them down and controlled the clock with more than 20 minutes of possession. Dak was also only sacked once for a loss of two yards.

Quarterback

Here is the quarterback table. Dak has played every down except the Cleveland game when Sanchez was used at the end.

Player Pos Games Gms 1-9 Gm 10 Total Season Percent
Dak Prescott QB 9 622 71 693 698 99%
Mark Sanchez QB 1 5 5 698 1%

Dak had a fantastic game, but let me refer you to the Dak and Zeke report for the details.

Running Backs

These are the running backs the Cowboys have used.

Player Pos Games Gms 1-9 Gm 10 Total Season Percent
Ezekiel Elliott RB 9 443 50 493 698 71%
Alfred Morris RB 9 99 5 104 698 15%
Keith Smith RB 9 69 9 78 698 11%
Lance Dunbar RB 6 63 15 78 698 11%

Zeke fought very hard for his 97 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving. Details in the Dak and Zeke report. Alfred Morris had only three yards on two carries, and Lance Dunbar added two yards on one carry. Dunbar also caught two balls on three targets for 14 yards. Dak Prescott scrambled for 16 yards on two carries. This week Darren McFadden is being activated off the NFI list, and has 21 days to get in shape before he needs to be put on the active roster or be done for the year. He might well be an upgrade over any of our backups at this point.

Wide Receivers

Here’s the new wide receiver table.

Player Pos Games Gms 1-9 Gm 10 Total Season Percent
Terrance Williams WR 9 441 43 484 698 69%
Dez Bryant WR 6 362 62 424 698 61%
Cole Beasley WR 9 346 44 390 698 56%
Brice Butler WR 9 291 18 309 698 44%
Lucky Whitehead WR 9 106 6 112 698 16%

Dez Bryant had a great game with six catches on eight targets for 80 yards and two touchdowns. He’s building rapport with Dak every week and making teams pay for loading the box to stop Zeke and/or blitzing to try to disrupt Dak.

Cole Beasley was next with five catches on six targets for 59 yards. Brice Butler had two huge catches on two targets for 49 yards. His 41-yarder set up Dallas’s first touchdown and sparked a run of five possessions and five scores. Terrance Williams had one catch for 11 yards, but also drew a 31-yard pass interference call.

Tight Ends

Here’s the tight ends chart.

Player Pos Games Gms 1-9 Gm 10 Total Season Percent
Jason Witten TE 9 624 67 691 698 99%
Geoff Swaim TE 9 203 203 698 29%
Gavin Escobar TE 9 46 17 63 698 9%

You could tell Baltimore was hitting hard because Jason Witten went to the sidelines, missing four plays, in the middle of a Dallas scoring drive. He caught five passes on seven targets for 37 yards.

Gavin Escobar has been forced out of the shadows with the injury to Geoff Swaim. James Hanna is also undergoing further surgery this week and is out for the year. With Rico Gathers the only tight end on the practice squad, we might expect Dallas to add a tight end. They can go with two, as Escobar only had 46 snaps in nine games, as long as Escobar holds up. If they want extra blocking, Joe Looney has been the guy. Escobar was actually targeted three times this game — more than the rest of the year combined — and caught two balls for 21 yards.

Offensive and special teams snap counts Game 2 - Washington

Offensive snap counts Game 3 - Chicago

Offensive snap counts Game 4 - San Francisco

Offensive snap counts Game 5 - Cincinnati

Offensive snap counts Game 6 - Green Bay

Snap counts at the bye

Offensive snap counts Game 7 - Philadelphia

Offensive snap counts Game 8 - Cleveland

Offensive snap counts Game 9 - Pittsburgh