SANTA CLARA — Here’s the live blog for the 49ers preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
4:53 All of the 49ers’ starters are inactive except the following:
- WR Dante Pettis.
- CB Ahkello Witherspoon.
- NT Sheldon Day.
5:15 Here are seven things I’m eager to see in tonight’s game:
- Who will play defensive end in place of Nick Bosa and Dee Ford? Those replacements might play more during the regular season the 49ers originally anticipated.
- Will the 49ers play their Wide 9 defensive alignment against the Cowboys’ one-back sets? If so, how will the 49ers’ outside linebackers hold up against the Cowboys’ offensive tackles when Dallas runs up the middle?
- How much will Dante Pettis play, and how many times will Shanahan call his number? Shanahan clearly is playing him for a reason.
- How much will Ross Dwelley play, and will he play with both Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard? I would play Dwelley for at least a half.
- Will any wide receiver step up? Will Jordan Matthews get some targets? He has played well during training camp and he seems healthy. Health has been the biggest issue for him in his career.
- Who will win the battle for the No. 3 tight end job — Levine Toilolo or Kaden Smith? Or, will the 49ers keep only two tight ends for the first couple weeks of the season?
- Who will be the starting slot receiver tonight with Trent Taylor inactive?
6:03 The Cowboys will receive the opening kickoff.
6:04 Mitch Wishnowsky’s opening kickoff lands at the Cowboys four-yard line.
6:11 On third and four from the 49ers’ six-yard line, Sheldon Day tips Dak Prescott’s pass back to Prescott, who catches the ball and loses a yard. The Cowboys kick a field goal and lead 3-0. During that drive, Ahkello Witherspoon gave up a 16-yard catch to Michael Gallup, who ran a curl route. And Emmanuel Mosley committed a 26-yard pass interference penalty trying to defend a fade route from Gallup.
6:23 Trainers cart off 49ers left tackle Shon Coleman, who has an air cast on his left ankle. Coleman is the third offensive tackle on the 49ers depth chart.
6:24 On third and 10 from the 49ers 40, Mullens completes a nine-yard pass to Richie James, who ran a slant route. The 49ers punt on fourth and 1. Wishnowsky’s punt flies out of bounds at the Cowboys’ 14-yard line. During the drive, James dropped a 19-yard pass from Mullens, and Ross Dwelley drew a nine-yard pass interference penalty on third and four.
6:32 On third and eight from the 49ers 22, cornerback Emmanuel Mosley blitzes and forces Cooper Rush to throw the ball away. The Cowboys kick a field goal and lead 6-0. During the drive, rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw bit hard on a play-action fake and gave up a 33-yard catch to Blake Jarwin. The 49ers also gave up two catches to Cedrick Wilson — one for 11 yards and one for 16 yards.
6:35 Nice blitz design by Robert Saleh on that third-and-eight play. David Mayo pretended to drop into coverage before rushing the quarterback, and Emmanuel Mosley was completely unblocked.
6:40 On third and 10, Mullens throws an incomplete pass intended for Kendrick Bourne. Next play, Wishnowsky punts a ball 64 yards.
6:42 Raheem Mostert leaves the game and walks to the locker room. He has a head injury.
6:43 On third and three, Cowboys wide receiver Jon’vea Johnson drops a pass, and the Cowboys go three and out.
6:45 DT D.J. Jones has a knee injury and is questionable to return.
6:46 It’s amazing how many blitzes teams now run in the opening pre-season game. Used to be base packages and base nickel coverages. Now, it’s almost a full play book with pressures included.
6:51 Trent Taylor had foot surgery today and is out indefinitely. Stay tuned for more information.
6:51 Nick Mullens takes a big hit and throws an interception to linebacker Luke Gifford.
6:57 On fourth and three from the 49ers 36, Marcell Harris commits a holding penalty and Greenlaw commits a roughing the passer penalty. Automatic first down.
7:01 The Cowboys miss a field goal. They still lead 6-0.
7:11 The 49ers P.R. staff says Taylor may return early in the season. He injured his foot on Thursday. During practice, Tarvarius Moore landed on Taylor’s foot after intercepting Jimmy Garoppolo in the end zone. Maybe that’s how Taylor broke his foot.
7:12 On first and 10 from the Cowboys 20, Mullens rolls out of the pocket to his right and fires a touchdown pass to Jalen Hurd. Those two have developed chemistry in camp. The 49ers lead 7-6. During the drive, Dwelley made a 21-yard catch up the seam, and Kendrick Bourne dropped a long pass near the sideline.
7:26 Willie Beavers commits back-to-back holding penalties, and the 49ers go three and out.
7:35 The Cowboys kick a field goal as the first half ends. They lead 9-7 at halftime. Mullens was very accurate — he completed 11 of 17 passes. Plus, two of his receivers (Richie James Jr. and Kendrick Bourne) dropped a couple of Mullens’ long passes. But, Mullens made a bad decision under pressure and got intercepted because he forced a pass over the middle while taking a hit. I wouldn’t expect him to make that mistake again.
7:46 Mostert is out with a concussion. D.J. Jones is out with a knee injury.
8:01 On third and 21 from the 49ers 42, C.J. Beathard overthrows a deep pass to Deebo Samuel, who was open. Beathard completed five of seven pass attempts for 49 yards during the drive.
8:04 On third and 12 from the Cowboys 10 Cooper Rush checks down to Dalton Schultz, and D.J. Reed tackles him after a gain of 10. The Cowboys go three and out.
8:12 On third and seven from the Cowboys 26, C.J. Beathard throws a pick over the middle. He was under no pressure when he threw the ball.
8:15 On first and 10, D.J. Reed commits an illegal contact penalty that negates a sack/fumble turnover.
8:19 The officials eject Adrian Colbert after he commits an illegal hit on a defenseless receiver.
8:35 On third and goal from the four, Hurd run a fade route to the back-left pylon and catches a touchdown pass from Beathard. Hurd has played well tonight. The 49ers lead 14-9.
8:36 Wishnowsky’s kickoff lands out of bounds. The Cowboys start from their 40.
8:37 On third and 17 from the Cowboys 33, Tim Harris gives up a 15-yard catch to Devin Smith, and the Cowboys go three and out.
8:45 On third and 5, Christian DiLauro commits a holding penalty which negates a 25-yard catch by James. The 49ers have committed 14 penalties for 151 yards. Sloppy.
8:50 On second and nine from the Cowboys 39, Robert Saleh calls a blitz, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds strips the ball from Mike White and Tarvarius Moore recovers.
8:53 Wilton Speight replaces Beathard at QB.
8:53 Robbie Gould makes a 53-yard field goal, and the 49ers lead 17-9.
9:17 On fourth and goal from the four, Mike White throws an incomplete pass. The 49ers will win. Stay tuned for the good and not so good from tonight’s game.