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Cowboys Dominate 49’ers But Lose On Late TD, 20-13.

49ers Cowboys FootballThe Cowboys’ first team offense/defense dominated the 49’ers for the first half of Saturday night’s game in Dallas, but only had a 10-3 lead going into halftime. In the second half, when both teams went with their second and third team players, the 49’ers managed to close the gap and score late to win on a Kory Sheets 9-yard touchdown run, 20-13.

The truly frustrating part of this game was late in the fourth quarter.  Dallas was clinging to a 13-10 lead with just under 4 minutes left in the game when WR Isiah Stanbach fumbled a short pass from Kitna that set up the 49’ers deep in Cowboys’ territory.   The defense would stiffen after San Francisco got a first-and-goal just inside the 10-yard line, but they would tie the game up with the short field goal.  Dallas moved the ball to inside 49’ers territory on their next drive, but would stall just inside the 45-yard line thanks to a Kitna fumble of the snap on a crucial third-and-2 play.  Coach Phillips opts to punt instead of either the long field goal try or going for the first down and McBriar pins the Niners inside the 10-yard line.  It appears as if the defense will hold them there and get the ball back with just under a minute to play, but rookie CB Courtney Brown commits a terrible Pass Interference penalty on a third down hail mary pass by 49’er QB Nate Davis giving them a critical first down at their own 32-yard line.  Four plays later after a 36-yard catch-and-run by the Niners, Sheets makes the winning touchdown run.  Dallas would get the ball back with under 15-seconds to play and run out of time.

As mentioned earlier, the first team again played very well with Romo, Barber and Felix Jones taking the team on a 14-play 94-yard TD drive consuming most of the first quarter.  Romo ended the day 11-of-17 for 125 yards but did have an interception, his first of the preseason.  The running tandems of Barber and Jones worked to perfection during the touchdown drive with Jones getting the rushing TD.  Tashard Choice performed well again also in the second half but left the game late with a bit of an injury that appears not to be serious but he was replaced by the durable Keon Lattimore.  Without lead WR Roy Williams, Miles Austin stepped up and had a good game with 3 catches for 44-yards including the long 22-yarder that helped Dallas get into the end zone later. 

But again, it was underperforming second and third stringers and costly penalties that hurt the Cowboys in this preseason game also.  Leonard Davis’ holding penalty negated a 49-yard FG by Nick Folk, and of course the previously discussed penalty against CB Courtney Brown late in the game.  The Cowboys finished with 8 penalties for 78-yards, which is more than their opponent on yet another scoreboard statistic. 

Speaking of scoreboards, there were no incidents with the video-scoreboard in this game other than the 49’ers punter, Andy Lee attempting to “moon shot” one in warm-ups to hit it.   

Overall, the defense played well with the front line putting good pressure on the Niners QB’s not allowing a completion to a WR by them until late in the second quarter.  Of course if Michael Crabtree would have been playing for the 49’ers things may have been different.   QB Shaun Hill finished a paltry 9-of-17 for 79-yards and a low %65.4 rating.  But back-up Nate Davis, just trying to make the team, picked the Cowboys’ defense apart for 132-yards and  a %94.3 effiency rating. 

The Cowboys have now had their bubble burst here at the new stadium, but it was only preseason.  Let’s just hope they can get it all together when the games really count.

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