49ers vs. Cowboys preseason live blog

San Francisco 49ers defensive end DeForest Buckner warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SANTA CLARA — This is the live blog for the 49ers Exhibition Season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. I will update this with information and analysis from the Levi’s Stadium press box.

5:27 I’m eager to see what the 49ers pass rush will do tonight. It has been terrific in training camp, but has been facing the 49ers offensive line, which may or may not be any good. Tonight, it will face the Cowboys offensive line, which is fantastic.

5:50 Here are the 49ers who will not play tonight:

  • DL Arik Armstead
  • G Jonathan Cooper
  • LB Brock Coyle
  • OL J.P. Flynn
  • G Joshua Garnett
  • S Marcell Harris
  • CB Richard Sherman
  • WR Trent Taylor
  • LB Fred Warner
  • TE Cole Wick
  • CB K’Waun Williams

6:00 Warner is out with a chest injury he suffered last week in training camp. He took a shot from undrafted running back Jeff Wilson during one-on-one blocking drills.

7:03 The 49ers win the toss and defer. Smart choice. Increases their odds of winning this critical game.

7:12 On second-and-7 from the 49ers 30-yard line, Dak Prescott throws a long touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Michael Gallup, who beat cornerback Jimmie Ward. When Prescott threw the pass, Ward turned to find the ball and stopped running. Strange technique. Cowboys lead 7-0.

7:14 Earlier in the drive, DeForest Buckner beat rookie left guard Connor Williams instantly off the snap and hit Prescott. Thomas finished the play and took Prescott down. Thomas and Buckner split the sack.

7:21 On third-and-16, Garoppolo completes a 7-yard check down pass to Jerick McKinnon, and the 49ers punt on the next play.

7:22 Malcolm Smith has a hamstring injury and his return is questionable.

7:29 Solomon Thomas took a helmet to the knee. He just walked straight to the locker room.

7:34 Matt Breida just took a knee to the helmet, and now he’s injured.

7:35 Thomas has a head injury and is questionable. George Kittle has a shoulder injury and is questionable.

7:57 Garry Gilliam has a head injury as well. Five injuries in less than one half. What a nightmare.

8:15 Bo Scarborough runs up the middle for one-yard touchdown, and the Cowboys lead 14-0.

8:30 Joe Williams powers into the end zone from one-yard out, and the 49ers trail 14-7.

8:53 Pettis makes a 53-yard catch that would have been a touchdown had C.J. Beathard not underthrown the pass. The play was a play-action roll out. Pettis was running the clear-out route. The corner covering him stopped covering him and ran at Aaron Burbrige, who was running the crossing route, and left Pettis wide open.

8:54 Robbie Gould makes a 26-yard field goal, and the 49ers trail 14-10.

10:28 The 49ers won 24-21. Stay tuned for my game story, which I will post tonight, and my grades, which I will post first thing in the morning.

This article has 97 Comments

  1. I will be looking to see how the right guard competition pans out, also if Jimmie Ward can prove his worth on the outside (cb), while crossing my fingers and praying for no injuries in this almost meaningless game.

  2. Grant, do you think the coaching staff will try to get an in game look at Deforest Buckner on the outside? Or will they keep the “tricks” up their sleeves for the reg season?

  3. Damn I really wanted to see Warner. I think eventually they will use him as a defensive “swiss army knife” even as a pass rusher.

  4. Hey Grant, who do you think will be the starting punt returner tonight?

    Wanna see that rookie with the ball in his hands.

  5. Not one offensive play from these preseason games can be used in the regular season according to Shanny.

    49ers football is back, and life is good.

  6. Well the D got beat every which way on that drive.
    They didn’t look good against the run at all and the coverage looked suspect on the passing plays I saw.

  7. Jimmie, ward is toast! Lots of Grants criticisms and observations came true on that drive. This D I thought was going to be much tougher. Good thing it is only the preseason. Dwight’s Clark’s fur Coat is stiffer than this D.

  8. From Mood_Indigo…

    “This evening’s drinking game: Take a shot or a deep gulp from the beer bottle every time Grant makes a negative comment…”

    Anyone into their 2nd can/bottle yet?

  9. You try not to put too much stock in these exhibitions, but when you see all of our glaring weaknesses coming into the off-season that weren’t really addressed still showing, topped off with injuries to main contributors, it makes me feel a little uneasy about this season. But maybe that’s my emotions speaking too loud smh

      1. Imho McKinnon was a splash signing…..shouldve used those resources on a lineman, although pickings were pretty slim so I’m not too sure if that was viable. Don’t matter how many weapons we have if we can’t get any push on the oline. And by the way, Malcolm Smith needs to pay the organization every dime back. He’s a better thief than the Hamburgler.

        1. I wasn’t as big a fan of the signing as others. He should help in the passing game but he isn’t the kind of back who will get yards that are not blocked for him. So I think he is slight downgrade in the run game from Hyde. Getting one good guard would have helped the team as whole more imho.

    1. Only pre season but Niners look soft and I’m prepared.Ironically looks just like Grants practice reports have been saying..Buckner looked good,but o line is very scary..

  10. Beathard looks like a really, really and I mean really good earbud in the ear, tobacco under the lip, clipboard holding back up. Here’s to hoping JG Wentworth stays healthy

  11. Well now…not far from half time of the 1st preseason game. Anyone thinking we’ll win two games this year? Maybe three? Seven? ??

    1. I am thinking my projection of seven games is modest now, but I do over react, Jimmie made good throws but was under way too much duress!

    1. Oh yea! Time to book the banner towing service. Gotta start flying over 9er HQ this coming Monday…and daily until Lynch, Shanahan, and Saleh are tossed out. We know Jed won’t leave.

    1. It’s preseason… I think of all those preseason games I’ve caught on TV or in person over a handful of decades. A few are thrilling, some wildly disappointing, and the rest just plain stinky. And we forget all about them by mid September.

  12. Takeaways so far.
    – Taylor looks like he could be very good.
    – Ward is not a natural corner
    – The Oline is still pathetic
    – Beatherd needs to be replaced with a developmental guy.

  13. Williams is focusing so much on ball security that he is limiting his breakaway threat. He is bringing his other hand to cover the ball up to soon. He reminds me of Wilbur Jackson in the mid 80’s when he had a fumbling problem. There is a happy medium he has to carry the ball primarily with one hand and not fumble.

    1. I was thinking the same thing Coach. Looks to me that worrying about ball security is getting the better of Joe. Securing the football is of the utmost importance, but if it doesn’t come naturally, it becomes a RB’s focus, and takes focus away from the other things like watching the play develop in front of you and finding the correct running lanes.

      I’ve seen a lot of Joe Williams and, tonight’s Joe Williams, was a tight version of Williams who seened solely focused on holding onto the football as opposed to being a running back. Very disappointing start to Joe’s make or break preseason.

      The players who caught my eye in a good way tonight:

      1) Jullian Taylor – oh my, what a beast. Strong, violent, agile … this kid has the look of a versatile DL with a high ceiling. Early signs indicate the Niners “stole” this kid in the 7nth round. If this kid had stayed healthy as a college player, it wouldn’t have shocked me to see his name called on day 1 of the draft. Then again, he’s got to prove he can stay healthy, and that’s going to take some time.

      2) Dante Pettis – just scratching the surface. He is who Kyle thought he was, and no need to rush his development, which is always a bonus.

      3) Richie James Jr. – my goodness, some guys just have a “knack” for making plays. What excites me the most about James is imagining this kid with a full year’s worth of NFL strength and conditioning under his belt. He’s never going to clear waivers so ….. ?

      4) D.J. Reed Jr. – yep, he’s an NFL talent alright. He’s not tall, but when you combine his speed & agility with the fire hoses he has for arms (long and thick), along with his mentality, you’ve got someone who easily looks like an upgrade over first round pick, Jimmie Ward, and another kid with a high ceiling.

      5) Raheem Mostert – yes, he served notice to Joe Williams tonight. With Raheem’s proven ability on special teams, along with his versatility as a RB in this system, he’s exactly what you want in a #3 RB.

      6) Reuben Foster – that pass defended VS the human joystick, Tavon Austin, of all players, was nothing short of EPIC for a preseason play! Reuben initially freezes due to play action, then turns, locates his assignment (the electric 1st round pick – 178 lbs. Tavon Austin, 4.34 – 40 yd dash) runs him down, locates the football, leaps, and bats it away. “I don’t believe what I just saw.”

      Quick note: Fingers crossed it’s nothing serious with George Kittle.

  14. Grant,
    You reported that Thomas was rushing the passer in camp mostly from the inside but it seemed like in the short time he played tonight he was rushing from the outside. If you get a chance could you ask Salah or Shanahan about that.

  15. Taylor and Reed look like studs. All this talk of how great Lynch is….what is he thinking drafting Solly #3 overall, drafting Beatherd at all plus exercising option on Ward and Armstead! Awful!

  16. My take so far….
    Ward need more reps – He should be good.
    Solo needs a second pass rush move, he is easily controlled after first move fails.
    Big mistake to even think of putting WR James on the PS, he belongs on the roster.
    FS Reed looks old school.
    Magnuson plays Guard like a Tackle.
    Confirmed we are keeping 4Rb’s
    I trust female ref more than male ref
    We need better backup CB.
    Backup OL sucks
    #77 Taylor is a beast

  17. I believe Beathard is playing better than most here think. He was terrible early on tonight but he has looked better and better the more he plays. I still think he needs a lot of work but I believe by next season he is going to develop into a solid NFL backup and possible trade bait.

    1. Coach Beathard is not gonna get faster. He can’t run and his release is slow. He under threw Pettis in what should have been an easy TD. He’s a career back up.

      1. Prime,
        I believe you are mistaking holding on to the ball to long for a slow release. One is mental the other physical, you can improve the former with experience. imho

    2. Coach, he’s looking better and better cause the competition is getting worse and worse. With the 2nd team in he looked like he was 3rd team. I do think he has a hint of Cousins in him=meaning wait til next yr to see where his development is

  18. What’s interesting to me is, we have undeniably better depth this year in a few key positions (wr,dline,rb) vs last season. Hopefully that helps when the inevitable injury bug shows it’s face late season.

    1. Joe Fann – “George Kittle’s injury is a true shoulder injury, not a collarbone. That’s good news. “

  19. Julian Taylor is a warrior.
    .
    Bummer about the injuries.
    .
    2 players who did not impress me- Elijah Lee and Korey Toomer.
    .
    2 players who opened my eyes were Jeremy McNichols and Nick Mullens.

  20. Congratulations to the 49ers for a crystal clear, interruption free livestream during commercials.

    I will cherish the memory of these entertaining commercials for the rest of my life. I’ll also hope someone uploads a bootleg copy of the game to youtube.

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