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Chargers TE Hunter Henry concerned about wins, not targets

DALLAS -- Like any pass-catcher, Hunter Henry wants the football.

But his focus remains on how to help the Los Angeles Chargers earn a victory when they face the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, whether it's making a catch or executing a key block that creates an explosive play.

Through 10 games, Henry has 26 catches for 344 yards and two touchdowns on 39 targets. Those are decent numbers, but not the type of breakout season some expected for the Arkansas product who had eight touchdown catches as a rookie last season.

However, the Chargers made a more concerted effort to get Henry the ball in the team's big win last week over the Buffalo Bills; Henry finished with two catches for 25 yards on five targets as the Bolts scored a season-high 54 points.

"It felt good to be involved," Henry said. "I wish I would have come up with those two in the end zone. Dude made a good play, too. But it's good to get into the flow of the game, and kind of get going in the passing game.

"We finally put up some points. It helps that the defense got some turnovers. But that kind of got us on a roll, too. And I think we're kind of feeling like we're in a rhythm."

Good things happen when the Chargers get Henry the football. The Chargers are 4-1 when Henry's targeted at least five times and 0-5 when he's targeted fewer than five times.

"I don't think Hunter's the type of guy that you worry about with that," said Philip Rivers, when asked if he talks with Henry about not getting the football. "We're all competitors. I mean he wants to contribute and be a part of it and go. But he's great, he knows. That's the one thing about our whole group is that they all pull for one another. They know it could be one guy on any given week. And shoot, it may be this week with Hunter, who knows? He's certainly a part of the plan every week."

Henry said he's excited about playing at AT&T Stadium for the third time in his football playing career. Henry twice played there in college against Texas A&M while at Arkansas -- both losses. Henry said he expects more than 50 family and friends to make the four-and-a-half-hour trek from Little Rock to Dallas to see him play.

However, his father Mark Henry -- who played offensive line at Arkansas -- won't be one of them. Henry said his youngest brother Hudson, a tight end in his senior season at the Pulaski Academy, is playing in the state high school semifinals on Friday evening. And his other brother Hayden, a freshman linebacker at Arkansas, will play against Missouri on Friday afternoon.

"It's a sweet atmosphere," Henry said about playing in Dallas. "And what more of an atmosphere do you want than Thanksgiving Day at Jerry's World? It's going to be pretty special."

Henry also looks forward to seeing one of the players he grew up admiring play on Thursday -- Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

"It will be cool, man," Henry said. "He's a guy I watched for a long time, especially being close to Dallas. I was never a fan of Dallas, but I was a fan of Witten for sure. I've always kind of watched him. It's hard to say, but I've tried to make my game similar to what I've seen from him.

"Just what he does, being a complete dude -- he's like never off the field -- a complete iron man. He plays every snap of every year, so it's going to be cool to watch. It's going to be fun to be on the same field as him."