49ers @ Cowboys Week 1 live blog

ARLINGTON, Texas — This is the live blog for the 49ers’ week 1 game against the Cowboys. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from the Cowboys’ press box.

1:05 The 49ers inactives are Josh Johnson, Quinton Patton, Chris Cook, Anthony Davis, Quinton Dial, Tank Carradine and Marcus Martin.

1:06 The Cowboys’ inactives are Dustin Vaughan, Korey Toomer, Jack Crawford, Donald Hawkins, Darrion Weems, Anthony Spencer and Terrell McClain.

1:09 The Raiders lost 19-14 and Derek Carr averaged just 4.7 yards per attempt. He had no running game — the Raiders gained 25 yards on 15 carries. That’s a big reason the Raiders converted just 3 of 12 third downs. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson called dinks and dunks all game. You can’t move the ball consistently with a bunch of dinks and dunks if you don’t put a little fear of the deep ball in the DBs’ minds. Olson should have used more max protection schemes and made Carr take some calculated shots down the field without fear of pressure or blitzes.

1:23 The Cowboys wins the toss and elects to receive. Good choice. They don’t want their defense on the field. Dan Skuta forced the fumble.

1:25 Chris Borland and Demarcus Dobbs tackle Dwayne Harris at the Cowboys’ 20 on the kickoff.

1:27 DeMarco Murray fumbles and Chris Culliver returns it for a touchdown on the third play of the game. 7-0 Niners.

1:30 Touchback Dallas.

1:39 The Cowboys take a 30 second timeout at the 49ers’ 2 yard line facing second and 1. Ahmad Brooks has been flagged three times on this drive and has missed a tackle, too.

1:41 The Cowboys forget to block Justin Smith on second down and he sacks Romo for a 10-yard loss. Next play, Romo throws to Jason Witten in the back of the end zone and Antoine Bethea breaks up the pass. The Cowboys make the 29-yard field goal and it’s 7-3 49ers.

1:42 Murray rushed four times for 24 yards on that drive — a seven-yard run, two six-yard runs and a five-yard run.

1:43 Perris Cox replaced Tramaine Brock at LCB halfway through that drive.

1:44 Touchback. 49ers’ ball at their 20.

1:44 Joe Looney is in the game at right guard, not Alex Boone.

1:45 Brock just got carted off the field. He seems to have hurt his leg.

1:48 Three-play TD drive. Kaepernick took a shot as he completed a 37-yard pass to Anquan Boldin. Next play, Kaepernick rolls out of the pocket and hits a wide open Vernon Davis in the end zone for a 29-yard TD pass. 14-3 Niners.

1:52 Touchback.

1:52 Brock has a toe injury and his return is questionable.

1:59 Third play of the drive. Romo play fakes and throws deep over the middle to Terrance Williams. Eric Reid picks off the pass and returns it 48 yards to the Cowboys’ 2 yard line. Dez Bryant is shaken up on the play.

2:00 Kaepernick play fakes, rolls right and hits a wide open Vernon Davis in the end zone. 21-3 Niners with 4:25 left in the first quarter. Everyone except the Las Vegas odds makers expected this.

2:03 Touchback.

2:09 Chris Culliver is lying on the ground injured. The Niners’ cornerbacks now are Perrish Cox and Dontae Johnson.

2:10 Culliver gets up and walks off.

2:11 The first quarter ends. The Cowboys face first and 10 at the 49ers’ 24 when the second quarter begins.

2:12 The Cowboys are averaging 6.7 yards per carry.

2:16 On first and goal from the 5, Romo decides not to throw to a wide open Harris in the end zone. Instead, Romo holds the ball, rolls out, throws it up to Jason Witten and Patrick Willis picks it off in the end zone. The Cowboys are giving this game to the 49ers.

2:17 Culliver has an injured head and neck and his return is questionable.

2:28 The 49ers punt after a 10-play drive. Jimmie Ward downs the punt at the Cowboys’ 1.

2:29 Frank Gore popped a 20-yard run up the middle on the first play of the drive. Greg Roman called three read-options on that drive and none of them were particularly successful. Kaepernick got sacked on the drive when Bruce Carter blitzed up the middle. Kaepernick is taking shots he shouldn’t be taking a blowout.

2:32 Culliver has a concussion. He’s out.

2:36 Romo play fakes and throws deep for Dez Bryant. Perrish Cox picks it off. Romo has completed 12 of 13 attempts. Unfortunately for him, 3 of those completions have been to 49ers.

2:38 49ers start at their 36.

2:47 Carlos Hyde runs up the middle for an easy 4-yard TD run. The play before, Hyde busted through the middle for 13 yards. 28-3 with 39 seconds left in the half.

2:48 When Romo is hot, he’s unstoppable. When he’s bad, he’s bad. Today, he’s bad. Tough to win a game when you turn the ball over 4 times in a half.

2:52 Halftime. Call me crazy but I think Jason Garrett lost his locker room.

2:56 The 49ers have 200 total yards. The Cowboys have 194.

2:57 The 49ers have 12 first downs. The Cowboys have 14.

3:06 Touchback. 49ers’ ball at their 20.

3:08 Kaepernick throws over the middle to Vernon Davis on third-and-10 and Barry Church knocks the ball away. The 49ers go three-and-out. Kaepernick’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage on first down and Frank Gore carried the ball for no gain on second down.

3:12 Dontae Johnson breaks up a pass intended for Terrance Williams on third-and-9 and the Cowboys go three-and-out. Bruce Ellington makes a fair catch with no one around and the 49ers are flagged for holding. They will start at their 10.

3:16 Kaepernick tries to change the play at the line of scrimmage on third-and-4 from the 16 but Crabtree doesn’t hear him so Kaepernick calls timeout.

3:17 Kaepernick goes after Morris Claiborne and completes a 9-yard pass to Boldin on third down.

3:22 Kaepernick gets decked as he throws and Justin Durant picks it off but fumbles before anyone touches him and Michael Crabtree recovers. First and 10 at their 42. The refs are reviewing the play.

3:25 The refs rule the pass is incomplete because he didn’t complete the catch. Third and 10 at the 49ers’ 47.

3:27 Kaepernick throws left into double coverage and is lucky the pass isn’t picked. Andy Lee punts. Harris makes a fair catch at the Cowboys’ 13.

3:29 Worth noting: Kelvin Benjamin has 6 catches for 92 yards and a TD against Tampa.

3:32 Craig Dahl is flagged for illegal contact on third-and-21. Automatic first down.

3:37 Ward is flagged for illegal contact on third-and-7. Automatic first down.

3:38 On third-and-18 Romo throws deep for Harris who jumps and catches the ball over Cox at the 49ers’ 11 yard line.

3:42 Murray runs into into the end zone on fourth-and-1 from the 2. Romo raises his arms and pumps his fists. 28-10 Niners with 29 seconds left in the third quarter.

3:45 Touchback. 49ers’ ball at their 20.

3:48 Kaepernick completes a 7-yard pass to Boldin over the middle on first down and the third quarter ends.

3:50 Joe Looney is flagged for holding on second and 3.

3:54 Brandon Lloyd is flagged for holding on third-and-7 for creating an illegal pick.

3:55 Roman calls a QB draw on third-and-17 and Kaepernick gains 8 yards up the middle.

3:55 Harris drops the punt and the ball bounces out of bounds at the Cowboys’ 9 yard line.

3:59 Dontae Johnson breaks up a deep pass intended for Terrance Williams on second down and now it’s third-and-three.

4:02 Romo throws the ball 5 feet over Cole Beasley’s head and the Cowboys go three and out. Ellington returns the punt to the 49ers’ 41.

4:07 Phil Dawson misses a 37-yard field goal. That’s the opening the Cowboys needed.

4:14 It’s clear that Hyde is the best running back on the team right now. He’s been terrific today.

4:16 Ward is shaken up and he walks off the field. The 49ers have just two corners left.

4:17 It’s the two-minute warning. Cowboys face first and goal from the 2 when play resumes.

4:19 Brock is back in.

4:20 Romo completes a 2-yard TD pass to Terrance Williams. Dontae Johnson gave up the catch. 28-17 Niners with 1:52 left.

4:24 The 49ers are examining Ward for a head injury.

4:25 Boldin recovers the onside kick. I’m headed down to the locker room. Back at you shortly with my grades.

This article has 430 Comments

  1. Having Tank and Dial inactive shouldn’t be a surprise. Neither passed TJE or Dobbs on the depth chart during preseason, and you don’t need more than 5 DL active for a 3-4, especially one that is expected to play a lot of nickel today.

    Glad to see Lynch will be active – wonder how much play time he’ll get?

  2. Patton is inactive … He’s played well on special teams. I’m interested in how well the special teams coverage units play … without Osgood, Bubba, Spillman, and Patton.

      1. It’s been a long offseason…..work, new baby, plotting against R. Sherman…..I’m ready for a championship this year!

  3. I think fangio gets too attached to his veterans… Tank and Dial are players that should be rotated in. And if anything should be active to gain more experience.

    1. If he calls Kaep great then he’ll have to tell us why he would only call 26 passes when he has a great quarterback. The real question is: Is Harbaugh great? Who will be surprised when Grant writes on Monday that “If you take away the two touchdowns the Cowboys gave us ……. Can’t wait to see.

    1. I don’t know why, the niners seem to like Cox. Last year in the playoffs they played him over Wright. Maybe cause he can play ST, too

  4. Eric Reid came to play today. I’m sure someone will say Kaep should have put some touch on that pass to Davis. Anyways. I love this ISH.

  5. Dang, Brock out and now Culliver down. That only leaves 3 healthy CBs active, including Ward. Wonder if the Cowboys will start going extra wideouts.

  6. I guess this is when Baalke starts second guessing his decision to keep 6 WRs and not 6 CBs. And not drafting a CB till the 5th round.

  7. This run d is getting taken advantage of because we are staying in nickel. Get the big boys in there, stop the run…. But then tony would eat up our new patch work secondary

  8. favourite moment of the game so far…..Dez Bryant screaming and ranting on the sidelines, everyone around him avoiding eye contact. I suspect many on that team roll their eyes at his antics.

  9. I see Dallas running the football with ease and just picture Seattle. I know that game is a long ways away but GEEZ. They spread the field and run misdirection. We have to get it together.

    1. Iupati was good because he was so athletic for being a huge guy- since then he has had quite a few leg injuries- he fractured his ankle in january- for a big guy- that is bound to have a big effect.

      I doubt Iupati is going to get a huge payday in his future. i think he is past his prime.

  10. Good job by Ward there.

    The commentators noted it earlier, but Hyde has been getting in there on 3rd downs. That’s a show of confidence from the coaches.

  11. Kap’s QB rating is still 158. Good thing the NFL gave the niner’s O line a ” tune -up game”. Crabtree is going to get fined for the blue cleats.

  12. I hate to agree with Aikman but Dallas is winning the trenches on both sides of the football. That’s not going to work against Seattle. RW will not be crap like Romo has

  13. Obviously people are going to say Romo sucks which he does right now but the secondary is holding up really well. DL needs to stiffen up against the run though.

  14. Most teams who sling the ball around have soft defenses. The fact that our passing has improved but front seven on the D makes me wonder how much is that the case or is it because we are missing a couple of starters. On the flip side, our pass coverage seems improved.

  15. Not sure I like how our team is playing. Romo, has all but given us the game but their offensive line has pushed us around. Their wide outs have been able to get free but Romo just hasn’t seen them. Then on offense our line has looked down right bad against the worst Defense in all of football.

    I don’t trust this lead just yet.

    1. Sounds like Grant. I’m sure that’s what he’s going to say. If you take away the turnovers the niners didn’t do so well

  16. Fox group states… Except for the score it’s an evenly played game. I take it everyone is. Homer for the Cowdung’s. Buck and Acheman was tough to hear but you have the cr@p at high time as we’ll.

  17. End of the half.

    What I’ve liked:
    – Big plays by the D. Forced fumble and 3 INTs. An opportunitistic D can be just as important as a D that doesn’t give up much.
    – Kaep. He’s been making plays and really looks like he’s comfortable out there, directing the game. He’s even had some touch on his passes, and hasn’t been skittish in the pocket.
    – They haven’t run much, but when they have they’ve looked pretty good. Those two runs by Hyde at the end of the half were things of beauty.
    – 3 WR sets at the end of the half were effective, and guys were getting open. Its only Dallas, but its still encouraging.

    What I haven’t liked:
    – The front 7 has been ordinary. Murray is running all over them, as the Cowboys OL is pushing the DL and LBs around. Cowboys have a good OL, but the D has to be able to stop the run better than they have.
    – The 49ers OL has had some struggles keeping pressure from Kaep, which is a worry given the Cowboys DL is bad. How will they hold up against a better D?
    – The 49ers have gotten lucky through bad play by Romo. Cowboys have had their chances, with receivers getting open and little pressure on Romo. Most offenses will take advantage of that.
    – There doesn’t appear to have been much rotation along the front 7, despite long drives. If you’re going to keep all these DL on the roster, you think you’d use them.
    – Injuries to the starting CBs. Never good to see injuries, but especially when its both your starting CBs.

  18. So…. Ellington IS our punt returner. Usually its a good sign when a team doesn’t punt in the first half. Dallas breaks the mold

  19. I’d like to see the starters get some rest now. Let’s bring in jj and Hyde. Sit crabs kaepernick and gore. No reason to keep them in

    1. He looks a lot more comfortable sitting back in the pocket. In the 2nd half Dallas made some adjustments but as the season goes I think he’s going to start moving along that upside.

    1. I believe this is why they had Kaep throw so many one read plays last season, they couldn’t afford to lose him. The line was bad last year as well it was just disguised through roll outs and quick hitters. You have to have time and open receivers to go through progressions.Still they were not as bad as they’ve started out this season.

  20. “Worth noting: Kelvin Benjamin has 6 catches for 92 yards and a TD against Tampa.”

    Don’t forget Markus Wheaton had a good day too. He was one of your guys in 2013.

      1. Btw, with Benjamin, can we use your line about Stevie Johnson? Someone has to have the ball thrown to him, and they have nobody else. ;-)

              1. I’ve not been watching the Panthers vs Bucs game, so can’t really comment on how he’s looked. But yes, I’m a bit surprised by the numbers he’s putting up.

              2. I wanted Benjamin bad for the niners. Kid is a Baller. Not afraid of making big plays in big moments. He’s going to be tough to stop

              3. I’m a Florida state fan. I’m going to the FSU VS Louisville football game later this yr. I watched him all last yr. He does drop some easy passes but he comes through in big moments. He did it time and time again last yr. I’m not sure how many FSU games they show on the west coast but that kid balls.

              4. I guess things turned out ok but I really wanted the Niners to draft two receivers this season, because most of the receivers are on short contracts and it will cost to replace them. Far more than to have at least three on rookie contracts. Was not that enthused about Patton as much as most posters either.

  21. This is what the nfl wants. Little tacky penalties helped the cowboys to go down the field and score. They should have been off the field long before Romo threw that ball. God forbid it’s not a close game

  22. It took two ghost penalties for Dallas to get that one down field and score. Now it’s time for the offense to get back to action.

  23. Ok, this is getting ridiculous. That’s at least the 3rd call that was complete BS. If anything that should have been against the Cowboys. This is definitely looking like the refs trying to get the Cowboys back into this game.

  24. these refs are simply abysmal

    Niners need to make some hay here – this game is not over despite Romo’s attempts to give it away

  25. What is the betting line on this game? It’s not going to affect the outcome of this game but there have been some extremely suspicious calls in the last 20 minutes or so.

  26. The refs are ruing the game of football. I can’t believe all these poor calls that are having huge effects on the games.

  27. HOLY CRAP….HOLY CRAP!!!!! Are all officials born in Texas. Watch Grant agree with the calls tomorrow just to prove he is a “journalist”. Oh by the way Grant Hyde sure looks like a bust

            1. Crab!! How are you?

              They were pretty bad – some lopsided penalty calling!! But they aren’t all to blame for the sad second half performance – no pass rush, no offense, and piss-poor halftime adjustments.

              Of all the good things the Niners do, if they don’t start becoming a second half team and making better adjustments, it’s going to be a long and nerve-wracking season! (That said, I still think they’re going to have a great year :-)

  28. It’s going to be a long season without Aldon Smith … Everybody and their cousin knew the Cowboys would be passing nearly on every down that last drive. They could not generate any heat on Romo. That’s a big concern going forward.

    Did the Niner D blitz at all this game?

  29. 49er Defensive Player of the game – Tony Romo.
    49er Offensive Player of the game – Boldin

    Dallas Defensive Player of the game – The Officials
    Dallas Offensive Player of the game – The Officials (Honorable mention to their O-line and running backs).

  30. After watching the game, it seems the defense purposely let Dallas run the ball. I could be wrong. It still bothers those running yards came in chunks.

    We did not score a touchdown in the second half. We also let the play clock run down in the 2nd half. Kind of like they were trying something new. That’s something to watch.

    Our secondary looked good. Kaep looked real good despite having an O-line that’s struggling. Gore and Hyde looked good.

    My concerns are the O-line and D-line, but seemed to be fixable.

  31. Despite losing the locker room, Jim Harbaugh yet was able to win another game with out bunch of starters. I love it

    Great team win. Colin looked amazing, defense showed up when needed and our rookies played pretty well. Not a bad start to build some confidence and dust off the cobwebs. GO NINERS

  32. “4:14 It’s clear that Hyde is the best running back on the team right now. He’s been terrific today.”

    Hey, remember when Hyde was drafted? You said that Hyde wouldn’t be good because Beanie Wells — a completely different person that wasn’t Carlos Hyde or related to Carlos Hyde and was only mentioned because he also happened to have played for Ohio State — wasn’t good? Man, that was really ignorant. Just so, so ignorant.

    1. Jason, i have a been a Hyde fan for the past few years, this football player plays old school football and runs with passion.

  33. When I see a terrible troll like Grant having to troll all day, probably for the rest of his life, just to pay his bills, it makes me sad for him, but also grateful that the rest of us don’t have to or feel the need to live like that. I hope you mature one day and become happy, Iggy.

  34. Hyde great
    Ward good
    P Cox good
    DJohnson good
    Lynch 1 batted pass
    Sacks by the dline
    Secondary played pretty well against some great recievers

    And the much maligned S Johnson didn’t drop a target.
    Oline needs Davis and Boone back
    Kap looked good

    Too many injuries and too many yds running against the D. Too many pressures on Kap early on.

    1. LOL, ricardo i have been enjoying life in the off season and did not do much of blog surfing until today and the first information i read was the Coach Jim losing the locker room.

      Its completely ridiculous to even talk about this during the first week of NFL, and when this team just recorded their first win of the season. GO JIM H and the Niners, let haters be haters

  35. So much for Hyde being a 3 yards and a cloud of dust guy hey Grant. You reporters are such haters the Niners win and you want to talk about players not liking Harbaugh. Stupid and embarrassing the guy wins and you can’t stand it.

    1. They should answer that question with a question. “Who told you that?” Then follow it up with, “Go ask the person who told you that and make him name public.” Put the pressure on the reporters to reveal their source.

  36. Last offseason, when Grant was blathering about the Cowboys, I told him that until Dallas replaces Romo and Jerry, they have no chance. Grant was so conceited, he wouldn’t even entertain the idea.

    Anything to say now, Iggy?

    1. Well …

      Romo has worked VERY hard to cultivate his
      moniker … (Captain Choke) …

      and … by golly ..
      he’s earned .. it !!

      Right, Grant .. ?

  37. some loose ends, So Cam Johnson is now stating LB for the Colts
    If you were wondering what Gore was talking about, I think Terrell Davis who also had bad knee injuries, I think.

  38. Grant,
    How is it that Kelvin Benjamin (who has no bearing on this game) gets recognition and you fail to mention Frank Gore reaching 10,000 yrds in his career?
    Head scratcher bud.

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