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Bengals vs. Cowboys snap counts: D’Ante Smith finds a role

Cincinnati attempted to get creative in one area on offense this week.

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals came out sluggish again in Week 2 when they lost to the Dallas Cowboys. There are plenty of reasons why Cincinnati couldn’t pull out the win. The blame can’t be placed on any one player or coach, but something has to click with this offense soon.

Looking at the snap counts from the game, you can see a pretty big trend for better or worse.

Total plays run

The Bengals won the snap count battle running 70 plays to the Cowboys 61. That number was aided by a 19 play drive in the fourth quarter. Cincinnati also won the turnover battle +1. The result of the game goes to show it doesn’t always come down to who ran the most plays or possessed the ball the longest, Dallas scored touchdowns while Cincinnati was forced to settle for field goals.

There are the starters, and there’s everyone else

Taking a look at the offensive snaps it is pretty obvious that the Bengals aren’t trying to mess with having Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Hayden Hurst and Joe Mixon on the field. This isn't a knock on that at all. You want those guys out there almost every play because they are the ideal weapons for Joe Burrow to be able to spread out the field.

The only concern here is all of these guys skipped the preseason. Burrow also missing a ton of time recovering from getting his appendix taken out can’t help. Each week though it seems like it takes them at least a half of football to get into that offensive rhythm. This all would look great if the offense was clicking like most anticipated. Hopefully we get to that point.

No room for Dax Hill right now

We addressed the Bengals not using their first-round rookie that much in Week 1. Well, we have to touch on it again. Right now it seems like unless there is an injury somewhere that Hill is in the reserves. Slot corner Mike Hilton (40) has a strangle hold in that role, which isn’t surprising.

The players that are more likely standing in Hill’s way are linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither (9) and cornerback Tre Flowers (10). This isn’t a call to not play these guys as much as they are very talented in their own right. You could argue that in facing two run-centric teams, the Bengals simply opted towards playing a third linebacker in Davis-Gaither. Cincinnati will be facing the New York Jets this week, who may also look to lean on the run quite a bit.

Chris Evans gets a single snap

I won’t rehash this that much since I talked about last week how Evans could be much more explosive in Samaje Perine’s role. Especially on the plays where he lines up out wide. Giving Evans a single snap feels more like they did it to say they did it.

D’Ante Smith resumes action as sixth o-lineman

We can’t say the coaches didn’t get a little creative this week. Smith played six snaps reporting eligible. A receiver also erased another play by lining up over him. The running game would be a great thing to lean on when things aren’t going well in the passing game. It is hard to do that when you are behind most of the game though. Smith also was likely in to help on a couple longer developing pass plays to aid La’el Collins against Micah Parsons.

Bengals snap counts against Cowboys

Player Position Number of Snaps Percent
Player Position Number of Snaps Percent
Ja'Marr Chase WR 67 96
Tee Higgins WR 62 89
Tyler Boyd WR 57 81
Mike Thomas WR 1 1
Trent Taylor WR -- --
Stanley Morgan WR 3 4
Mitchell Wilcox TE 19 27
Drew Sample TE 10 14
Hayden Hurst TE 57 51
Devin Asiasi TE DNP DNP
Joe Burrow QB 70 100
Brandon Allen QB -- --
Jonah Williams OT 70 100
La'el Collins OT 70 100
Hakeem Adeniji OT DNP DNP
Joe Mixon RB 53 76
Trayveon Williams RB DNP DNP
Samaje Perine RB 14 20
Chris Evans RB 1 1
Cordell Volson G 70 100
D'Ante Smith G 6 9
Max Scharping G DNP DNP
Jackson Carman G -- --
Alex Cappa G 70 100
Ted Karras C 70 100
Trey Hill C -- --
Jessie Bates S 60 98
Vonn Bell S 61 100
Michael Thomas S -- --
Dax Hill S 2 3
Logan Wilson LB 61 100
Germaine Pratt LB 43 70
Clay Johnston LB -- --
Akeem Davis-Gaither LB 9 15
Markus Bailey LB 2 3
Josh Tupou DT 28 46
Jay Tufele DT DNP DNP
DJ Reader DT 37 61
BJ Hill DT 54 89
Zach Carter DT 12 20
Cam Sample DE 18 30
Joseph Ossai DE 8 13
Sam Hubbard DE 55 90
Trey Hendrickson DE 52 85
Jeff Gunter DE -- --
Mike Hilton CB 40 66
Tre Flowers CB 10 16
Jalen Davis CB -- --
Chidobe Awuzie CB 60 98
Eli Apple CB 59 97