clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys’ offensive snap counts: Cooper Rush and the backups get to play in a blowout of the 49ers

Dak and Zeke were so dominant that their day was done with more than 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Off their bye week, the Cowboys romped over San Francisco 40-10.

Offensive Overview

The Cowboys started the game three-and-out, but once they recovered a forced fumble on the following punt, they handed the ball to Ezekiel Elliott three times and watched him punch it in for a touchdown. The rout was on.

Overall, the Cowboys gained 501 yards - the first time over 500 yards in a victory since beating St. Louis 35-7 in 2007. They were 7-11 on third down, gained 27 first downs, and gained 265 yards on the ground. Zeke, with 219 yards from scrimmage, set a new high for his short career. Dak Prescott had a passer rating of 134, and an ANY/A of 11.76, the second highest of his career.

The Passing Game Keeps Shifting From Week to Week

In our running data tables on the receivers, we saw Dez Bryant have his second best game in yards per snap, Cole Beasley have his best game (even though he only caught one pass), Jason Witten have a solid outing, and Terrance Williams and Brice Butler disappear.

Here are the numbers.

Player Game Snaps Targets Catches Percent Yards TDs Yds/Snaps 2016 Snaps 2016 Yds 2016 Y/S
Dez Bryant NYG 67 9 2 22% 43 0 0.64
At DEN 66 16 7 44% 59 1 0.89
At AZ 41 2 2 100% 12 1 0.29
LAR 58 13 5 38% 98 0 1.69
GB 64 8 5 63% 52 1 0.81
At SF 54 10 7 70% 63 1 1.17
Total 350 58 28 48% 327 4 0.93 688 796 1.16
Terrance Williams NYG 38 7 6 86% 68 0 1.79
At DEN 49 5 4 80% 17 0 0.35
At AZ 33 4 3 75% 47 0 1.42
LAR 47 6 4 67% 34 0 0.72
GB 55 3 2 67% 14 0 0.25
At SF 41 3 0 0% 0 0 0.00
Total 263 28 19 68% 180 0 0.68 746 594 0.80
Cole Beasley NYG 52 5 3 60% 32 0 0.62
At DEN 57 8 4 50% 33 0 0.58
At AZ 25 1 1 100% 4 0 0.16
LAR 31 6 3 50% 17 0 0.55
GB 37 6 4 67% 23 2 0.62
At SF 34 2 1 50% 24 0 0.71
Total 236 28 16 57% 133 2 0.56 603 833 1.38
Brice Butler NYG 35 3 1 33% 30 0 0.86
At DEN 22 2 1 50% 18 0 0.82
At AZ 7 2 2 100% 90 1 12.86
LAR 22 2 2 100% 12 1 0.55
GB 22 2 2 100% 57 0 2.59
At SF 23 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
Total 131 11 8 73% 207 2 1.58 429 219 0.51
Ryan Switzer NYG 2 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
At DEN 6 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
At AZ 2 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
LAR 8 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
GB 3 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
At SF 11 1 1 100% 2 0 0.18
Total 32 1 1 0% 2 0 0.06 NA NA NA
Noah Brown NYG 0 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
At DEN 5 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
At AZ 8 1 1 100% 13 0 1.63
LAR 7 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
GB 0 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
At SF 19 0 0 0% 0 0 0.00
Total 39 1 1 100% 13 0 0.33 NA NA NA
Jason Witten NYG 74 9 7 78% 59 1 0.80
At Den 71 13 10 77% 97 1 1.37
At AZ 47 4 1 25% 3 0 0.06
LAR 71 2 1 50% 9 0 0.13
GB 73 10 8 80% 61 0 0.84
At SF 63 4 4 100% 54 1 0.86
Total 399 42 31 74% 283 3 0.71 1017 673 0.66

At this point in the season, only Brice Butler and Jason Witten are ahead of last year’s yards-per-snap numbers. The biggest concern for Dallas at this point, now that Dez Bryant has looked better the last few weeks, is getting the 2016 Cole Beasley back. If he can’t become a bigger threat, one wonders if the Cowboys might try to use Rico Gathers in a kind of slot role.

Offensive Line

Player Pos Age Games Gm1 Gm2 Gm3 Gm4 Gm5 Gm6 Total Season Percent
Travis Frederick C 26 6 74 71 47 71 74 75 412 412 100%
La'el Collins T 24 6 74 71 47 71 74 75 412 412 100%
Zack Martin G 27 6 74 71 47 71 74 63 400 412 97%
Tyron Smith T 27 6 74 71 47 71 74 63 400 412 97%
Jonathan Cooper G 27 3 0 0 0 71 74 75 220 412 53%
Chaz Green G 25 4 74 71 47 0 0 12 204 412 50%
Joe Looney C 27 2 0 0 0 2 0 12 14 412 3%
Byron Bell G 28 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 412 0%

At 40-10, the Cowboys rested Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, Dak Prescott, Jason Witten, Ezekiel Elliott, and Cole Beasley. They brought in Joe Looney, Chaz Green, Cooper Rush, the backup tight ends, Rod Smith, and Ryan Switzer. Keith Smith also played quite a few downs at fullback.

Here’s our weekly look at the line from Pro Football Focus’s grading

  • Tyron Smith - 79.5 (up from 76.2)
  • Jonathan Cooper 45.4 (up from 39.7)
  • Travis Frederick 81.5 (even with 81.9)
  • Zack Martin 86.8 (up from 82)
  • La’el Collins 48.3 (up from 43.6)

The offensive line is coming together. It will be interesting to see what happens this coming week, as Washington chose to blitz Philadelphia heavily in a losing effort.

Quarterback

Player Pos Age Games Gm1 Gm2 Gm3 Gm4 Gm5 Gm6 "Total Season Percent
Dak Prescott QB 24 6 74 71 47 71 74 63 400 412 97%
Cooper Rush QB 23 1 0 0 0 0 0 12 12 412 3%

Cooper Rush got the first snaps of his career, and Dak sat at the end of a game. See the Dak and Zeke report for Dak’s offensive numbers, which were outstanding.

Running Backs

Player Pos Age Games Gm1 Gm2 Gm3 Gm4 Gm5 Gm6 Total Season Percent
Ezekiel Elliott RB 22 6 60 63 43 64 64 50 344 412 83%
Keith Smith FB 25 6 2 2 5 7 13 13 42 412 10%
Alfred Morris RB 29 5 8 1 0 3 5 9 26 412 6%
Rod Smith RB 23 6 2 4 3 1 3 13 26 412 6%

Zeke had a tremendous game, leading the team with 219 yards from scrimmage, and three touchdowns. See the Dak and Zeke report.

Rod Smith was the garbage time runner, and actually had the longest run from scrimmage at 45 yards. Alfred Morris got two carries for 15 yards, while Keith Smith joined Rod in the backfield for most of the end-of-game plays.

Wide Receivers

Player Pos Age Games Gm1 Gm2 Gm3 Gm4 Gm5 Gm6 Total Season Percent
Dez Bryant WR 29 6 67 66 41 58 66 54 352 412 85%
Terrance Williams WR 28 6 38 49 33 47 55 41 263 412 64%
Cole Beasley WR 28 6 52 57 25 31 37 34 236 412 57%
Brice Butler WR 27 6 35 22 7 22 22 23 131 412 32%
Noah Brown WR 21 4 0 5 8 7 0 19 39 412 9%
Ryan Switzer WR 22 6 2 6 2 8 3 11 32 412 8%

Snap-wise, the main difference in this game was Noah Brown’s use. He was likely in the game at the end, which elevated his snap numbers. But he also played a huge downfield blocking role on Zeke’s 72-yard screen pass touchdown.

Tight Ends

Player Pos Age Games Gm1 Gm2 Gm3 Gm4 Gm5 Gm6 Total Season Percent
Jason Witten TE 35 6 74 71 47 71 73 63 399 412 97%
James Hanna TE 28 6 21 9 14 30 20 23 117 412 28%
Geoff Swaim TE 24 6 9 0 7 4 9 22 51 412 12%

The last two games, the Cowboys have used more heavy looks, with two or even three tight ends, and Keith Smith in at fullback. It has coincided with more rushing yards, so expect it to continue.

Rico Gathers is eligible to practice with the team, but can’t be activated until the Kansas City game. But you don’t get the feeling that he will be, unfortunately. I don’t hide the fact that I’m a huge fan of the potential Gathers’ brings to this offense.

Offensive snap counts 2016

Offensive snaps Game 1 - New York Giants

Offensive snaps Game 2 - At Denver

Offensive snaps Game 3 - At Arizona

Offensive snaps Game 4 - Los Angeles Rams

Offensive snaps Game 5 - Green Bay

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys