Welcome back to the snap report, a weekly feature where we look at the Chargers players involved in each offensive and defensive snap and track how players earn and lose playing time as the year continues. As always, these snap counts come from the NFL and the numbers are rounded to the nearest percent.
First, we'll take a look at the Chargers offense which ran 72 plays against the Cowboys, their second most of the season behind the 83 ran against Philadelphia.
The strong play of Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews earned them the majority of the backfield snaps against the Cowboys, with the duo combining for 86 percent of the snaps given to the backfield players. Aided by strong run blocking from Harris, Troutman, and Hardwick, the Chargers running backs averaged 5.6 yards per carry between left tackle and left guard, and 4.2 yards per carry between the left guard and center.
The Chargers didn't need many snaps out of their backup tight ends against the Cowboys, with both John Phillips and Ladarius Green losing playing time while Antonio Gates gained snaps. Gates torched the Cowboys for 136 yards on 10 catches, with 84 of those yards and a touchdown coming on five receptions against the Cowboys' Sean Lee. Let's pour one out for Fozzy.
Here's the Week 4 snap report for the defense, who was on the field for 10 less plays compared to Week 3.
As expected, the return of Donald Butler and the debut of Manti Te'o resulted in some shuffling among the linebackers. Bront Bird and Andrew Gachkar saw their playing time shrink to zilch, while the injury to Dwight Freeney led to some more snaps for Jarret Johnson, Larry English, and Tourek Williams. I was a little surprised to see that Gachkar couldn't manage a defensive snap this week, given his recent stretch of good form. Both Gachkar and Bird played 17 special teams snaps against the Cowboys.
The defensive backfield continued its season of musical chairs during Week 4. With Shareece Wright held out due to injury, and Derek Cox sustaining an injury during the game, Johnny Patrick and Richard Marshall got to see some more of the field. If you watched the game, they probably didn't pop off the screen. Shareece Wright was a full participant in practice on Friday, but will be a game time decision for the game against the Raiders. The Chargers could surely use the help.