49ers vs. Cowboys preseason live blog

SANTA CLARA — This is the live blog for the 49ers preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. I’ll update this frequently with information and analysis from the press box.

4:55 NaVorro Bowman will play tonight, so the 49ers must feel the grass isn’t an issue. We’ll see.

4:59 Monitor the Colin Kaepernick-Torrey Smith connection. They linked up only eleven times during 11-on-11 drills in training camp. Kaepernick seems more comfortable throwing to other receivers, like Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis, Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush and Quinton Patton.

5:04 Dallas wins the opening toss and chooses to receive.

5:05 Punter Bradley Pinion kicks the kickoff, and the ball bounces through the end zone for a touchback.

5:08 Bowman stops Darren McFadden after a one-yard gain on first-and-10. On third-and-10, Tony Romo completes a swing pass to running back Lance Dunbar, who slips on the grass.

5:09 Jarryd Hayne returns the punt 27 yards.

5:16 Colin Kaepernick throws a back-shoulder fade to Torrey Smith on third-and-goal from the 7, and cornerback Corey White slaps the ball out of Smith’s hands. Phil Dawson makes a 25-yard field goal and the score is 3-0 Niners.

5:18 Kaepernick completed two of four pass attempts on the drive. He had one completion to tight end Vance McDonald for seven yards, and one completion to running back Carlos Hyde for six yards.

5:18 The first two plays of the drive were stretch zone runs to the right. Carlos Hyde gained five yards on the first carry and six yards on the second carry. Later during the drive, Hyde took a stretch zone run to the left, cut it back to the right and gained 17.

5:19 Brandon Weeden replaces Tony Romo at quarterback.

5:21 Shayne Skov replaces Bowman at inside linebacker.

5:23 Tight end Gavin Escobar drops a pass on third-and-three and the Cowboys go three-and-out.

5:23 Hayne gets tackles by the punter after a 34-yard punt return. This guy is making the team.

5:28 On second-and-6, Marcus Martin and Erik Pears get beat almost immediately, Kaepernick scrambles around in the pocket, eventually gets taken down by Randy Gregory for a 14-yard loss and the Niners go three-and-out.

5:34 The Cowboys go three-and-out again, and Hayne returns the punt 23 yards.

5:35 Vance McDonald has an ankle injury and is out. Tank Carradine has a leg injury and is questionable to return.

5:36 Blaine Gabbert replaces Kaepernick.

5:40 End of the first quarter.

5:41 Running back Mike Davis loses a yard on third-and-1, and Phil Dawson makes a 33-yard field goal. 6-0 Niners.

5:47 Eli Harold and Quinton Dial sack Weeden on third-and-11, and Dallas goes three-and-out.

5:51 Backup right tackle Trent Brown falls over on third-and-7, Gabbert gets sacked for a two-yard loss and the Niners go three-and-out.

5:59 Third-string quarterback Dustin Vaughan just threw a pick-six to Mike Purcell. 13-0 Niners. How much do you think the Niners could get for Purcell in a trade?

6:06 Outside linebacker Eli Harold hits Vaughan on second-and-9, and the Cowboys punt two plays later.

6:11 On third-and-14, Quinton Patton catches a short pass and runs backward for a loss of 12. Horrendous.

6:12 On the first play of Dallas’ drive, slot cornerback Keith Reaser gives up a 21-yard catch over the middle to….A.J. Jenkins. Ooof.

6:16 Craig Dahl intercepts a pass over the middle thrown by Dustin Vaughan. Dahl is having a good game. Vaughan is not.

6:20 Blaine Gabbert gets sacked on third-and-11. Justin Renfrow gave up the sack.

6:24 End of the second quarter.

6:38 On third-and-1, Gabbert keeps the ball on a read-option play, loses five yards and the Niners go three-and-out.

6:43 Dontae Johnson and L.J. McCray fight over a gimme interception on third-and-8 and both of them drop it. Bailey misses the field goal. Still 13-0 Niners.

6:46 Dylan Thompson replaces Gabbert.

6:51 Hayne bursts through a hole on a stretch-zone run to the left, stiff arms a defender and gains 34 yards. I told you this guy is making the team.

6:51 Corey Acosta makes a 38-yard field goal and the Niners lead 16-0.

6:59 A.J. Jenkins makes a downfield as he takes a big shot from Jaquiski Tartt. Gain of 19. I always knew Jenkins could play.

7:04 After a Dallas punt, the 49ers have the ball at their 17.

7:11 End of the third quarter.

7:15 Marcus Rush sacks Vaughan on third-and-5, the Cowboys punt from their end zone, Quinton Patton blocks the punt and recovers in the end zone. 23-0 Niners with 12:46 left.

7:30 L.J. McCray blitzes up the middle and crushes the Cowboys’ third-string quarterback.

7:31 On first down, Dylan Thompson rolls to his right and hits rookie tight end Busta Anderson for a gain of 29.

7:43 Marcus Cromartie gives up an 8-yard touchdown catch to wide receiver Nick Harwell. Dallas goes for two, and rookie undrafted safety Jermaine Whitehead intercpets Jameill Showers in the end zone. The Niners lead 23-6.

  1. Mr. Hayne is the returner. He has the ability to secure the football for the team hands down. Mr. Hyde with a nice little zone read cut back run and excellent catch. VMac get nicked?

      1. You’ll enjoy it Scooter. What I find amazing is that he makes the first guy miss all while looking down field to setup his running.

  2. The good news on offense
    Hyde looks really good so far and the offenses first drive looked was solid.

    The bad news.
    The niners still haven’t taken that page out the playbook and burned it.

        1. That could take awhile. And if Boone’s return last year is any gauge, it could take him awhile to get back into the speed of the game – plus the changes in blocking schemes.

  3. Some of the young QBs aren’t looking too shabby. Bridgewater looks like he’s going to be solid. And watching Carr and Cooper for years could be painful for Niner fans.
    I’m watching Mariota against a really good Rams first D, and he has a lot of composure. He’s not going to run like he in college, but he should have a TD but the RB just dropped the ball.

    1. Fan77,
      Why in the world would I be interested or as you put it, “painful” watching anything the freakin’ raiders do?
      No doubt you have some ulterior motive behind your comment.
      Hmm, let’s see, how many guesses do I get that there is an underhanded slight at Kap here, right? (lol)

      1. What? I’m just saying that some of the new QBs look good and we should expect Kaep to be better when the season starts. He has plenty of weapons now.

        1. Fan77,
          Agree with this comment, but still don’t get the watching Carr to Cooper catches being “painful.”
          As a 49er fan, the raiders are an enigma that I’d prefer not to bother with. Now the pre-LA Raiders were an entirely different story, but I digress.

    2. I actually thought Dallas’s third string QB #7 Showers looked very good at times. Very solid pocket presence. If Dallas cuts him I am sure some other team will pick him up- I mean who wouldn’t want the presence of Showers in their locker room.

  4. Mike Davis looks like a younger healthier Kendall hunter. That’s why they should cut the old injured one and keep the fresher legs and Haynes. Sorry hunter can’t stay healthy. And no need to see him play. I’ve seen it before. He’s gotta go.

    1. Agreed. If Davis looks good enough he is they guy we should keep. We can use Hunter’s roster spot to hold on to extra d lineman, one of our positions of strength.

  5. How many Dlineman are going to make this roster? Can keep Purcell and Tony Jerod-Eddie? Particularly now that Lemonier and Eli Harold seem to be paired as a base/nickel OLB rotation.

    Dial, Ian Williams, Dorsey, Tank, Armsteak, Dockett, Purcell, Jerod-Eddie?

    Brooks, Lynch, Harold, Lemonier, Bowman, Moody, Wilhoite, Skov?

  6. Felt a slight shudder at the mention of AJ Jenkins. The WR talent on the team now compared to the days of Jenkins is night/day.

  7. a lot of the guys I didn’t think could make the team look like they are making the cases to stay. Its just amazing that we could lose all those starters and still its hard for a player to crack the 53

    1. Every now and then there is a surprise infusion of unexpected young talent to a team. It is about time that the Niners got some breaks in the good fortune dept.

      1. Yeah, hopefully.

        But that’s what I allways said to my self during Roman preseason games, and then once the regular season games came…..it was the same lame two-minute offense.

        So excuse me if I’m skeptical.

      2. Right you are about ‘Pre’. Did you see that cast of characters who lined up at OL on that two minute drill? I’m surprised Gabbert’s OK.

  8. first half awards go to Purcell and Haynes. Will they even be on the team in 3 weeks? I hope so. but who you going to cut to make room for them?

    1. Hayne makes it on ST. An arguement can be made between Purcell and TJE. Sometimes the last couple of cuts its between a DL and a TE, or DB and and an OL. With as much scrutiny as other teams seem to be watching SF’s roster, hardly anybody will survive waivers to the PS. The PS may be a bunch of guys who are strangers to us fans.

  9. Got to clean up 3rd downs and Red Zone and Penalties offensively. Mangini looks good to go defensively. Tomsula sounding like Kaepernick in his halftime interview. Grant any injury updates?

    1. Tomsula’s on field interview:
      I can’t believe Jim isn’t Italian American.
      He rolls his eyes and says “Well we aren’t too pleased with the penalties.”

      1. I am surprised he isn’t Italian american myself. If you wanted him to be quite, all you would have to do is tie his hands together in lou of a gag.

  10. Nice feel for the game by Hayne.
    Very good field vision and setting up his blocks, but really impressed by his over the head catch on his first punt return, wow!

  11. My crack at 53… maybe a little D heavy


    Mike Davis
    Jarryd Hayne
    Bruce Miller

    Vernon Davis
    Vance McDonald
    Garrett Celek
    Blake Bell

    Anquan Boldin
    Torrey Smith
    Quinton Patton
    Bruce Ellington
    DeAndrew White

    Joe Staley
    Brandon Thomas
    Alex Boone
    Anthony Davis
    Erik Pears
    Marcus Martin
    Joe Looney
    T Brown

    Arik Armstead
    Glenn Dorsey
    Darnell Dockett
    Tony Jerod-Eddie
    Ian Williams
    Tank Carradine
    Quinton Dial

    Aaron Lynch
    Ahmad Brooks
    Eli Harold

    NaVorro Bowman
    Michael Wilhoite
    Nick Moody

    Eric Reid
    Antoine Bethea
    Jaquiski Tartt
    L.J. McCray

    D Johnson

    Phil Dawson
    Bradley Pinion
    Kyle Nelson

    1. Anthony Davis retired. I don’t think Skov makes it, though he’s giving them their money’s worth these last two games.

      1. yeah, that was sloppy of me. I was cutting and pasting from an old thread and forgot to make an adjustment there. need to plug in another Olineman at that slot, since Kilgore won’t be healthy in time. Maybe Silberman?

        1. Yeah, could be… Obviously Skov came in a lot earlier in the game and was handling the calls from the sideline (smart Stanford kid), but we’ll see.

      1. It seemed like they were not playing him as much this game- Okoye- so perhaps they think they can hide him for the practice squad again.

  12. No worries for Hayne, and it’s a credit to Tommy Touchdown Wrathmans’ coaching. Just wow! Give Tommy a raise….

        1. Nice that he can find the crease and get through the hole, but also good that the OL is able to create the hole!

            1. All the Tomsula trolls better thank him for Hayne because he’s probably who convinced him to select the 49ers….

      1. He did a few good things all on his own Scooter. As I said to my wife, when somebody grabs him, it ain’t over! You’ll love his tape, I’m stoked.

          1. Scooter-He made a fantastic running over the shoulder catch of a long punt on his first return. Is that a typical play in Rugby?

            1. I wouldn’t say it is typical per se, but he’s made his fair share of them over his career. The expectation is the fullback (the position he played in rugby league) will make a play on the ball while it is in the air rather than run the risk of letting it bounce, unless he thinks it will go out the back of the in-goal area (i.e. end zone). If the guy kicking the ball gets all of it, the fullback can end up having to retreat and make those over the shoulder catches.

              Some of the guys playing fullback (or on the wing) in rugby league have excellent hands to make those plays over their shoulder, as well as catching the ball with arms extended over their head (similar to the catch Grant described Hayne making the other day in TC).

    1. I hope that they told Pinon to let up on his kickoff so that special teams gets some burn on return coverage. I would think he has a better leg than he is showing.

      1. I would like endorse that.
        I like Rush but I’m hopeful he can make the PS.

        Lemonier actually played ok today in my opinion.
        Without Aldon I have no problem they give him a roster spot.

        1. Lemonade is up to 255 now; can set the edge and he got some collapse on bull rushes; I was surprized. Rush is my longshot, but might clear waivers. I wonder if Bishop will be cut, then signed Week#2 so salary not guaranteed; like Osgood. Possibly Bellore too. None of the third tier OL look worth protecting.

          1. None of the third tier OL look worth protecting.

            You’ve got that right. Lemonier is on his way to my Dahl-House; >)

  13. I asked this question a couple of weeks ago and didn’t get an answer so i’ll try again. Does anyone remember a PR\KR who also covered kicks and or punts?

    1. How about Dana McLemore? He was a CB/PR, so he must have known how to tackle. I don’t specifically remember, but possibly.

    1. What do you mean the tackling rules are different?

      You get the ball carrier to the ground. If anything, the NFL could learn a thing, or two, about tackling more consistently and safely from the ruggers.

        1. That’s what I was talking about. That’s how the Seahawks teach tackling and more teams would be well advised to copy that approach. BTW, it hurts me deeply to give the seahawks any praise.

          1. It’s irrelevant if NFL tackling being illegal in rugby. It is relevant if rugby tackling is legal in the NFL, which it is, as that’s the style that Hayne is well versed.

        2. You absolutely can and are taught to tackle with your shoulder. You just can’t go for a shoulder charge (i.e. charge into someone using your shoulder only to knock the player down). You have to make an attempt to wrap up the tackle.

          1. Speaking of tackling. I saw a lot of “legal” tackles tonight by the Niners.
            Strike between hips and shoulders, lead with shoulder with head to the side. On the QB too. Smart play. And BANG! Some of those hits were solid-and-a-half.

          2. There are a lot of NFL players that could learn a thing or to about tackling from Rugby players. Even today seeing Tartt launch himself into Jenkins, while it was a nice big hit, he never tried to wrap.
            This has become commonplace in the NFL.

  14. Great play from Hayne on the kick off coverage.

    Guy just locked a roster spot for sure after this game.
    Take your time to refine your RB skills because you’ll be playing a lot on STs.

    That he can be an emergency RB is just another plus at the moment.
    He’s already valuable enough for a roster spot.

    1. Not sure one play makes a case for him staying. Simpson’s suspension and Ellington’s injury make a better case. We didn’t really throw much to our WR’s today.

    2. Agree with Wilson. QP plays more with his heart/emotion than his head. While emotion is good it has to be contained and you have to play with your head as well. He had some real rookie mistakes today. Nice block, though.

    1. I said last week if he did it again there would be no tapping the brakes or PS. Prime and another did not agree….

      1. Doing well in his first game was a fun talking point, but it was fair enough to be tapping the brakes to see if it was a fluke or not. Doing it two games in a row… catching lightning twice isn’t easy. This is more than just a fun talking point now, and fair to say his chances of making an NFL 53 man roster are looking pretty darn good at the moment.

            1. With our schedule, I think a lot of games will be close. Just like 2011, special teams can make the difference between wins and losses. Hayne in 2015 could be similar to Ginn in 2011.

              1. You’re right, our field position really hurt us last year both on O and D. I think Pinion is another one that will have a big influence that way. Hayne seems like the smart choice and he’s done well with his opportunities.

      2. I’m with you, Razor. One good return could be a fluke, but three in a row makes you believe he’s the real deal. Two long runs from scrimmage gives hope for his future as a RB.

        1. The suit on the TV said Hayne reminded him of Bill Ring. WTF? Not!
          He reminds me of Roger Craig, but even more elusive.

          1. Bro Tuna,

            Any chance you had consumed more than your share of the grape and misheard? That’s one of the craziest, most off base comments I’ve ever heard from an analyst. Hayne and Ring are 180 degrees from each other.

            1. Ex
              No way I misheard that. It was the post-game with Newberry and the nerd from Ch5. I don’t think Jeremy knew who Ring was, before his time, so he didn’t react. I couldn’t believe what I heard. I would’ve sprayed my wine if I’d been drinking.

              1. I like Ring. He was a Paul Hofer clone. Ton of heart, decent skills.
                However, they did not make players miss like Hayne.

  15. That last Gaskins play made me think of something I heard on the radio this week. The guys here in Denver were calling Rathman’s fumble drill the tickle me Elmo drill and couldn’t wait for the 49ers to come next week to make fun of it. They couldn’t believe they were having grown me tickle other men.

    1. They couldn’t tackle Rathman back in the day. Let’s see them with Hyde and Davis and Hayne and a bit of Bush next week. Shoot.
      Y’all heard the story about Elway and Montana the night before the SB, right? My fave. FY Horsemouth.

      1. Don’t sleep on Denver’s 1st team D. They’re really good this year. They’ll challenge our OL in blocking and pass protection. I will like to see how our guys perform against their 1’s.

  16. OK, so the D looked promising tonight. Even the scrubs at the end had an aggressive attitude. I think Mangini has acquitted himself well so far. I like the look of the offensive plan too. Steps in the right direction.

    1. I’d love to see some stats of number of targets for TE, RB and WR’s. I do like the look of things for sure but wondered about how they’ll include WR’s in the game plan. They didn’t seem to have a ton of targets tonight.

      1. There were a few plays where He had great push. He’s isn’t shaking free but is able to push the olineman right back into the qb.

  17. Its very rare that I get excited about a player. Hayne is just amazing, he is one of those gifted athletes that transcends different sports. That catch on the first punt is no easy feat, then turn it into a nice return, ah yea.

  18. Grant just said on twitter that Acker > Reaser.

    But he was saying over and over on BR some weeks ago that Reaser should be the starter CB.

    I guess if you keep firing all over the place you will eventually be right.

  19. I think if Jed York has any say in who stays on the roster (and I think such say would be very limited) he will push for Hayne. The sheer excitement that Hayne has generated with niners fans will be great for business. I know it’s not a football reason, but then I don’t consider Jed York a football man.

  20. Hayne is a lock and he will only get better. Don’t know about him getting hurt he seems like the kind if guy who is the “Hurter.”

  21. LOL, Ryan had just praised Brown, and he falls down and allows a sack.
    Patton did 2 bone head plays. He ran backwards and did not go out of bounds to stop the clock. Then he redeems himself with that blocked punt TD.
    I called it. Hayne is so good, he does not make players only miss, he makes them fall down.
    Defense showed up, and after a mulligan, started the Tomsula era with a bang.

  22. The defense and offense are becoming more dynamic than the last several years. With time, practice and quality coaching, the 49ers will only improve. Gone are most of the irritating vestiges of years past. Good luck 49ers.

  23. Where’s the troll NinerTruther at tonight? 23-0 to start the 4th QTR is the truth! Jarryd Hayne is the truth. Niners starting front seven and defensive backfield are the truth. NinerTruther……not so much!

  24. I thought Desmond Bishop was fantastic tonight! Mixed reviews for Skove, I think he is on the outside looking in. Moody was solid if unspectacular. Bowman looked like Bowman pre-injury. Nice punt block for Patton but really disappointed in his rookie mistakes. Armstead looks like a very strong man who is tall, but understands leverage. Hayne is really fun to watch. I’ll be very disappointed if he gets cut. I hope we don’t use the read-option too much this season. Good to have it in your arsenal, and force teams to prepare for it. This teams looks prepared and well coached. Very good fundamentally. Busta Anderson looks extremely athletic, a prototypical “move” TE. Vernon Davis, fullback? lol. Vernon Davis is clearly hungry to make last season a thing of the past. Pinion looks like a difference maker. I think he’s worth a 5th rounder considering the savings against the cap. Dial-Harold look like a nice tandem. If only Lemonier had more in his pass rush arsenal, he’d be a solid OLB.

  25. Sorry, just trying to catch up as just got home and watching on DVR. Did first team do anything encouraging? Kaepernick? Am I grasping at straws or was I on fast forward when I should have been on slo mo?

      1. Its almost all good. Bo was perfect. 3 plays, 3 tackles. Torrey almost scored a TD. Patton had 2 bone head plays, but redeemed himself with a blocked punt for a TD. Purcell had a pick six. Hayne was brilliant. DBs made plays and interceptions. Defense showed up. Tomsula coached a good game.
        The only concern were the penalties. Team needs to focus on playing cleanly.

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