Dallas Cowboys Are Awful Against 49ers


It’s simple: The Dallas Cowboys were simply awful against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in northern California. If America’s Team plans on making a second trip here for Super Bowl L early next year, it will obviously have to perform in very different way.

While it’s too early to panic regarding any aspect of a truly miserable first half of football, the Cowboys still have plenty to address before lining up against the New York Giants on September 13 in Arlington.

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Not to be confused with a preseason dress rehearsal, a number of starters, most notably quarterback Tony Romo, were expected to see action in the first half. Romo was in for just the first three plays of the game and completed his only pass to Lance Dunbar for minus one yard.

Backup quarterback Brandon Weeden ended up getting knocked out of the game after completing just two of five passes for seven yards.

In fact, after their first four offensive possessions, which were absolutely offensive, the Cowboys had gone three-and-out on each one while gaining minus one, eight, minus one and minus 10 yards, respectively.

Depending on how you look at it, this might have been the most successful stretch of the first half.

Third-string quarterback Dustin Vaughan entered the contest for the injured Weeden and promptly got the ball moving in picking up a couple of second-quarter first downs. He then fired a couple of interceptions, the first of which was returned for a 37-yard touchdown by 300-plus pound nose guard Mike Purcell – seriously.

Running back Darren McFadden made his highly anticipated first appearance in a Dallas uniform as he started behind Romo to begin the game. He was stuffed for zero yards after his first two carries behind Romo.

Special teams?


The best special teams tackle was arguably made by punter Chris Jones in the first quarter. Any time you hear that, you know things are not going well. San Francisco punt returner Jarryd Hayne torched Dallas for 84 yards on three returns in the first half. Hayne, an Australian national whose background is in rugby, also took off for a nice 34-yard carry out of the backfield early in the second half.

The Cowboys kickers also had issues as punter Tom Hornsey had a punt blocked into the end zone for San Francisco’s second touchdown and a 43-yard field goal attempt by the normally reliable Dan Bailey was missed.

Yes, the defense was a little better than the other two phases of the game, but it still left much to be desired – especially after it started off the second half with 12 men on the field.

Rookie defensive end Randy Gregory showed more progression in chalking up another preseason quarterback take down.

Second-year veteran defensive end Ben Gardner also added a sack as the Dallas defense would total 3.0 for the night.

Perhaps best of all, a defense that was missing all kinds of starters, especially at the linebacker position, didn’t give up on offensive touchdown all night.

Whatever it was that retired baseball manager Tommy Lasorda told the team just a couple of days ago, it didn’t seem to work very well.

This game had penalties, missed tackles, poor blocking, lousy passing, etc.

By the time fourth quarterback Jamiell Showers drove the Cowboys to their only points of the night following an eight-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Nick Harwell, this still looked like a game in which Dallas hadn’t a clue about even the basics of football.

The good news?

Well, there’s not much.

But I will remind you that, much like a bad dream, Cowboys Nation can wake up tomorrow morning knowing that this game meant nothing. The most feared unit in pro football, according to NFL.com, had precious little to do with this affair at Levi’s Stadium.

From here, all eyes shift to that dress rehearsal next Saturday at the venue formerly known as Cowboys Stadium against the Minnesota Vikings.

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