The 49ers will look to improve to 2-0 against their old rivals, the Dallas Cowboys.
Injuries could play a large role for both teams today. Dashon Goldson and Michael Crabtree are both listed as questionable for the 49ers. For the Cowboys, cornerbacks Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick are out and wide receiver Dez Bryanyt is questionable.
Inactives: 49ers – QB Scott Tolzien, WR Michael Crabtree, S Dashon Goldson, G Daniel Kilgore, G Michael Person, DT Ian Williams, DT Demarcus Dobbs
Cowboys – QB Stephen McGee, CB Orlando Scandrick, CB Terence Newman, G Bill Nagy, G David Arkin, WR Dez Bryant, DE Clifton Geathers
Stay tuned for updates throughout the game.
The 49ers won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. After the kickoff went for a touchback, Tony Romo nearly connected with Miles Austin deep down the right sideline. The pass was a little too long and Donte Whitner came with the hit to force the incompletion. On 3rd and long, Romo was hit as he threw, but managed to throw a strike to tight end Jason Witten. The Cowboys converted on their first two third downs of the drive. Then, on 2nd and 15 Romo hit Tashard Choice (in for Felix Jones after an injury) for a gain of 18 on a screen to the right side. Dallas drove all the way down to the 49ers 3-yard line, but Tony Romo’s 3rd down pass was too long for Audtin. Dan Bailey couldn’t get Dallas on the board either, missing a 21-yard field goal.
After struggling on third down last week, the 49ers started strong. On third and 10, Alex Smith calmly stepped up and delivered a strike to Braylon Edward to pick up 21. However, they weren’t able to pick up their next 3rd and two, as Alex Smith tried to hit Delanie Walker, but he stepped out of bounds.
The defense held tough on the next drive, forcing a three and out. On 3rd down, Romo look for Austin who had slipped and Brown nearly came away with the interception.
After the punt, the 49ers started their next drive from their own 32.
The 49ers drive could have stalled after Spencer brought down Alex Smith for a loss of 9. On 3rd and 10, Dallas sent the house on the blitz. The 49ers picked it up well and Smith hit Ginn for a gain of 14. Alex Smith turned what could have been a disaster into a huge play. After mishandling the snap, Smith picked it up, rolled out of the pocket and nearly hit Gore for a TD. Dallas was flagged for pass interference and the ball was placed at the 1. Two plays later, Gore punched it in for the score.
49ers 7 – Cowboys 0
The 49ersdefense forced another three and out as Carlos Rogers blitzed on third down and hit Romo as he threw.
The 49ers improved to 5 of 6 on third down conversions after Smith hit Joshua Morgan on the left sideline to keep the chains moving. Smith got the 49ers in the end zone once again with a great through on a fade route to Kyle Williams. Williams made a great catch on the play as well, getting both feet in bounds.
49ers 14 – Cowboys 0
The 49ers defense responded nicely with a quick three and out to give the ball back to the offense.
Jason Hatcher helped stop the 49ers next drive, sacking Smith on second down for a loss of 9. Lee launched a 63-yard punt that was well covered. Dallas will start their drive at the 29.
The 49ers defense looked like had stopped the Cowboys, but after a third down pass breakup, Ahmad Brooks was flagged for offsides. On the next play, Romo hit Austin on a quick slant. Brock had slipped on the play, giving Austin an easy path to the end zone.
49ers 14 – Cowboys 7
With no timeouts remaining, the 49ers were cautious on the next drive and after one first down, they ended up letting the clock run out on the half.
Standout Stat: The 49ers have done very well against the run, holding Dallas to just 7 yards on the ground.
Highlight Reel: The throw by Alex Smith was great, bJonut the catch by Kyle Williams may have been better as the two connected for the 49ers second touchdown of the game.
Put it in Perspective: The 49ers defense looked like they were going to get off the field, but the offside penalty by Brooks proved very costly. Austin’s touchdown was the only highlight for Dallas in the first half. The 49ers will get the ball to start the second half, with an opportunity to rebuild their two-score lead. They’ve been effective against the run and the offense has performed well on third down.
Not the start to the second half that the 49ers were looking for as the offense went three and out. C.J. Spillman had great coverage on the punt, dropping Harris for a three yard loss.
Jon Kitna came in at quarterback for Tony Romo who was being evaluated for a rib injury. Kitna hit his first two passes, the first to Witten and the second a big gain to Kevin Ogletree. Oglstree was called for an offensive facemask as he tried to stiff arm Brown. Donte Whitner’s first pick as a Niner ended the Dallas drive. Whitner took a knee in the end zone for a touchback.
Smith and the 49ers offense would give it right back to Dallas as Smith threw it right to Cowboys corner Alan Ball on third down. It looked like the pass was intended for Vernon Davis.
The turnover proved costly as Kitna hit Austin for another touchdown. The 49ers looked to have the play well covered, but the pass was perfect.
49ers 14 – Cowboys 14
The 49ers responded with a good kickoff return. The ball bounced off of Tukuafu’s had and was picked up by Kendall Hunter, who found some space wide left and crossed midfield. That would be as far as the 49ers would get. Ware beat Staley on first down and sacked Smith. Lee’s punt was fair caught at the 9-yard line.
The defense made a huge play as Tramaine Brock picked off Kitna’s pass and added a nice return back to the Dallas 29. On the very next play, Delanie Walker was matched up with a linebacker and Smith hit him in stride for a 29-yard score.
49ers 21 – Cowboys 14
Standout Stat: Despite the interception, Smith still has a quarterback rating over 100.
Highlight Reel: What a play call by Jim Harbaugh. He got the matchup he wanted and Smith threw a perfect ball to Walker for the easy score.
Put it in Perspective: There were several momentum shifts in the quarter. Dallas tied it up and the 49ers looked slow to respond. The defense gave the 49ers great field position after Brock’s interception and the offense took full advantage. With Tony Romo returning for Dallas, it’s certainly anyone’s game. Even a field goal will be a huge benefit to the 49ers as they’ll look to make it a two-score game.
The 49ers got into Dallas territory and put Akers in position for a 55-yard field goal. The kick was good, but there was a penalty against Dallas. Harbaugh elected to take the points and take the penalty on the kickoff.
49ers 24 – Cowboys 14
The Cowboys started at their own 20 and quickly marched into 49ers territory. On 4th down, Austin caught his third TD pass of the game to cut the lead to 24-21.
49ers 24 – Cowboys 21
That’s it for the blog…have to run down to the field to get ready for postgame. Stay tuned.
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