Defensive line – For the second consecutive week, Solomon Thomas played more snaps (61 of a possible 75) than fellow defensive lineman DeForest Bucker (50). Thomas, however, didn’t have much to show for it. He had one tackle and no quarterback pressures against Dallas’ beefy offensive line. Thomas has trouble with size, and the Cowboys boast the biggest offensive line in the league. Newcomer Leger Douzable was second in snaps (47) among defensive linemen. He mostly played behind Buckner. Rookie D.J. Jones played a season-high 25 snaps and finished with four tackles, solid for a defensive lineman, one of which was behind the line of scrimmage.
Others: Earl Mitchell (38), Xavier Cooper (26), Tony McDaniel (25), Elvis Dumervil (15).
Linebacker – After lasting just 11 snaps in Week 1, Reuben Foster logged 53 before leaving the game for good with a rib injury. He had an MRI on Monday, which came back negative. Foster finished tied for second on the team – with Ray-Ray-Armstrong (27 snaps) and Buckner – with five tackles. Eric Reid was moved from strong safety to weak-side inside linebacker for most of the game. He played 48 snaps and finished with three tackles. Brock Coyle (22) played “Mike” linebacker on the plays Foster missed. Dekoda Watson returned from a groin injury and played nine snaps. He and fellow outside linebacker Eli Harold (31 snaps) each had one tackle.
Others: Elijah Lee played 21 snaps on special teams but none on defense.
Safety – With Reid mostly playing linebacker, Jaquiski Tartt (75 snaps) and Jimmie Ward (75) remained the safety duo. That is, until, nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams injured his quadriceps. Ward had to play nickel at that point, which put hard-hitting rookie Adrian Colbert (29 snaps) into the game at free safety. Colbert had three tackles.
Cornerback – The 49ers continued to rotate Dontae Johnson (63), Rashard Robinson (51) and Ahkello Witherspoon (35) at the outside spots. Williams played 20 snaps before he had to leave the game. If he is out for an extended period, the 49ers could re-sign Leon Hall, whom they released last week.
Offensive line – For the first time this season, the 49ers suffered an injury among their starting five offensive linemen. In fact, they suffered two – tackle Trent Brown (45 of a possible 66 snaps) left with a concussion while right guard Brandon Fusco (52) dealt with a biceps injury and went to the sideline. They were replaced by Garry Gilliam (20) and Zane Beadles (14) respectively.
Others: Joe Staley (66), Daniel Kilgore (66), Laken Tomlinson (66).
Running back – Carlos Hyde ran hard for the 49ers, and for the second straight game he dominated the snap count among running backs, 51 to 15 for rookie Matt Breida. Hyde averaged 4.9 yards a carry; Breida 1.7. Raheem Mostert did not play on offense.
Receiver – Perhaps the 49ers’ most important offensive play – on a fourth-and-4 play in the third quarter – went to rookie Kendrick Bourne, who had no catches prior to that. He tripped and fell as the ball was arriving and the Cowboys took over on downs. He played 23 snaps Sunday, behind Trent Taylor (47), Pierre Garcon (46), Marquise Goodwin (39) and Aldrick Robinson (30).
Tight end – With fullback Kyle Juszczyk out, the 49ers played four tight ends: George Kittle (31), Cole Hikutini (21) Garrett Celek (18) and Logan Paulsen (11). The two rookies out-snapped the veterans and Hikutini caught his first-ever NFL pass – for five yards.