Grades from 49ers 42-10 blowout win over Dallas

The 49ers just blew out the Dallas Cowboys to go to 5-0 on the season. San Francisco’s 42-10 win was reminiscent of the 45-14 thumping the 1981 team put on Dallas during the regular season on its way to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

Here are my grades.

Quarterback: A

Brock Purdy kept the October magic going as he ran his career record to 10-0 and helped the 49ers score over 30 points for the eight consecutive regular season game. Purdy finished 17-24 for 252 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.

The performance wasn’t perfect for Purdy, but he was close, especially after the first quarter. He completed 11 of 14 passes from the start of the third quarter until being pulled early in the fourth quarter.

Purdy capped off the opening possession by escaping pressure and moving to his right where he found Goerge Kittle for a 19-yard touchdown. He connected with Kittle a few possessions later for a 38-yard touchdown on a flea flicker. In the second half the two made it three touchdowns when Purdy found Kittle all alone in the endzone. His fourth touchdown came when he hit Kyle Juszczyk in the right flat from a yard out.

Running Back: B+

Dallas made stopping Christian McCaffrey a focal point of their plan, and while they held him to just 51 yards on 19 carries it wasn’t enough.

The 49ers ran the ball 41 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns.

McCaffrey helped keep Dallas off balance and added another 27 yards receiving. With Dallas pinning its ears back to get after Purdy, he took a screen pass from Purdy for a gain of 19.

Jordan Mason had a solid day when called upon. The second year back had several nice runs, capping off his performance with a 26-yard burst around the left side to close out the scoring. His physical running style is a nice complement to McCaffrey.

Deebo Samuel added 30 yards on five carries. The wideback showed his ability to make plays in the run game up the middle and around the corner.

Wide Receiver: A

Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings dominated the Cowboys defensive backs. All three had catches of at least 19 yards.

Aiyuk led San Francisco’s receivers with four catches on seven targets for 58 yards including a long of 23 yards. He was open for a couple others, but the throw was just off the mark. He’s been the 49ers top receiver this season.

Samuel had a long of 42 yards on a catch and run on a dagger route in the third quarter. He caught all three passes that came his way for 55 yards.

Jennings had just one catch, but it was a big one. Facing third and two, Jennings broke free for a 19-yard grab to move the sticks. The 49ers would score their fifth touchdown of the game a few plays later.

Tight End: A

George Kittle came into Sunday night without a touchdown this season.

He broke out against the Cowboys, leading the 49ers in receiving yards with 69 and scoring touchdowns on each of his three receptions.

San Francisco used two tight ends on three of its seven plays to open the second half, but it was a decoy. With Dallas expecting run, Kyle Shanahan called a pair of passes to gain 33 yards including a ten yard touchdown to Kittle.

Offensive Line: A+

All the talk this week was around the challenge the Cowboys pass rush presented.

It’s hard to imagine how the 49ers offensive line could have performed better. Dallas pass rushers Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence were held without a quarterback hit.

Purdy was sacked just once, on a blitz from Dallas safety Jayron Kearse.

In addition to protecting Purdy, the offensive line created holes in the run game. Anytime a team can run the ball 41 times for 170 yards it has been a good day up front.

Defensive Line: B+

Nick Bosa set the tone for the 49ers defensive line on the opening play of the game. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year ran down the line and blasted Cowboy running back Tony Pollard after a gain a just one yard.

The defensive front consistently pressured Dak Prescott throughout the game. This paid off with three interceptions in the second half. Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead shared a sack of Prescott and Kevin Givens also got home for one. Bosa, Armstead and Givens combined for nine hits on Prescott.

In addition to his sack, Givens hustle paid off with a fumble recovery in the second quarter deep in Dallas territory.

Linebackers: A+

Fred Warner is the best linebacker in the league. He recorded eight tackles against Dallas to go along with an interception, a forced fumble, sack, tackle for loss and a pass defensed.

The combination of Warner and Dre Greenlaw is dominant. The two linebackers fly around the field. Greenlaw finished with five solo tackles of his own. He also recorded a sack, pass defensed and two tackles for loss.

Not to be outdone, Oren Burks also had five tackles and intercepted Dak Prescott in the fourth quarter.

Defensive Backs: A

Except for a couple plays the 49ers secondary locked down the Cowboys passing game. Dallas receivers accounted for just eight receptions.

Charvarius Ward had a beautiful pass break up on a deep throw down the right sideline early in the game.

In the second half Deommodore Lenoir got his hand on the ball to break up a quick slant to Michael Gallup. The deflection bounced right to Fred Warner for an interception.

Tashaun Gipson got the 49ers turnover party started when he picked off a deep throw from Prescott intended for Brandin Cooks.

The only negative of the night was a 26-yard touchdown from Prescott to KaVonte Turpin that beat the coverage of Isaiah Oliver. Other than the one play, Oliver had a solid night with five tackles.

Special Teams: A

Jake Moody hit all six extra point attempts and did not kick the ball out of bounds on a kickoff.

Mitch Wishnowsky averaged 46.8 yards per punt. Twice he pinned the Cowboys inside their own ten with the help of rookie Ronnie Bell.

Ray-Ray McCloud’s 14-yard punt return in the second quarter set up the flea-flicker touchdown pass from Purdy to Kittle

Coaches: A

Kyle Shanahan’s offense looked like a machine when it marched 75 yards for a touchdown to open the game. The 49ers ability to get into the endzone in the first half has been the catalyst to the five game win streak to open the season.

Steve Wilks had his defense ready to go. They did not allow Dallas to record a first down on six of seven first half possessions. Then in the second half they took the ball away three times and the game was over about a minute into the fourth quarter.

This article has 27 Comments

  1. I have been on an extended business trip for the last 4 weeks here in south east Asia and this the first game I have been able to watch in real time.
    One , still undefeated.
    Two , time for fans to realize this is a complete team ready for that long awaited 6th trophy!
    Three, go 9ers

  2. Jack,
    Givens seemed like he was in the game quite a bit more than in the first 4 games. How was Wilks using him. Did he take reps away from Kinlaw. I thought he played a good game.

  3. Great writeup, Jack. I couldn’t agree more on the ’81 regular season game where the 49ers beat the Cowboys 45-14. I think that was Fred Dean’s first game with the 49ers. I kept waiting for Randy Gregory to come around the end to sack Dak 3 or 4 times. That would have been major deja vu.

    Agree on the grades. Biggest thing for me was the O-line. I kept looking at and hearing about all the advance stat metrics that heavily favored the Cowboys D-line over the 49ers O-line. Very curious to see some of the film breakdown on the line play. I saw a few plays where the 49ers were chipping and double teaming Parsons but it wasn’t like they went overboard on the help. Haven’t seen any PFF grades but it will be interesting to see how the O-line fared according to those geeks.

    The stats in this game just feel so weird. Cowboys held CMC to 2.7 yards per rush but still gave up 170 yards rushing. That’s crazy to me. I think those are yards based on scheme more than rush block wins. This game may have been Kyle’s best game as an offensive coordinator. The other game that stands out to me is the Saints game in 2019. Probably 2 of the best coaching performances for the offense I’ve seen since Walsh in the 80s.

    Lastly, I like Dak Prescott as a person. Everything I’ve seen from him seems to indicate he’s a good person and I like good things to happen to good people. Having said that, I don’t think the Cowboys can win a Superbowl with Dak. McCarthy is a terrible coach so I’ve chalked up some of Dak’s issues to poor coaching but at this point Dak owns his poor performances in big games. I’m really hoping that Trey Lance trade doesn’t come back to haunt the 49ers in the playoffs.

    1. You just said that McCarthy, in your view, is a terrible coach..that being the case, how in the hell is Trey Lance gonna do any damage to the 9ers should the two teams meet in the playoffs…aside from the raw talent Lance has, he isnt ready for prime time, and the 9er defense will crush him like they do Prescott

      1. Great players overcome bad coaching. Aaron Rodgers won a Superbowl with Mike McCarthy as a coach. No one knows how good Trey Lance can become. He has enough talent that great coaches like Kyle Shanahan thought he was good enough to trade multiple first round picks to draft him. The kid definitely has talent. So that’s why I said I “HOPE” the trade to Dallas doesn’t haunt the 49ers. If Trey Lance ever gets a chance, he could be much much much better than Dak Prescott. That’s how Trey Lance could do some damage in the playoffs.

        1. Saying McCarthy is a bad coach is ridiculous. He’s had a lot of success in his career. As for Trey, I wish him the best but he won’t be a starter anytime soon, if ever.

          1. Anyone who knows football with an IQ above 5 knows McCarthy is a bad coach. It’s not really debatable at this point. He has one of the most talented rosters in the NFL so his players win despite his horrible decision making.

            1. McCarthy was head coach in Green Bay for 12 yrs, and only won 1 SB with a darn good QB in 2011. I wouldn’t go as far as calling him a bad coach, but I would say that he’s been ineffective.

              1. McCarthy had a great QB but mostly did not have a good defense. Maybe it was the GM who was ineffective.

            2. How about some facts to back up your opinion besides just name calling. You clearly have no ability to back up your statement and saying it isn’t debatable just proves that.

              1. Pro Football
                Coach years – 30
                Record – 274 wins, 190 loss, 2 ties.
                Win % – 59.01%
                Playoff Record – 14 wins, 15 loss.
                Playoff win% – 48.28%.
                That makes him an average head coach.
                Now, show me YOUR FACTS to rebut these.
                Squawk much?, lol

              2. AES,
                Has he really been a NFL HC for 30 years? I would say below Avg. because of the very good to great talent he has had.

              3. AES, Wow. You can’t handle any different opinion can you? You got angry because I thought maybe the GM was the bigger problem? Please get some help for yourself, as I will continue to state my opinion as I choose and I don’t want you to have a health issue.

              4. And apparently, you ask for facts, and can’t handle them when you read them.
                Hahaha! Squawk much?

              5. AES. And apparently you can’t read. I never asked you to defend your comments of McCarthy being ineffective. I was asking 1.6 to provide facts to back up his claim that he was a bad coach. I can handle facts but they don’t add up to a bad coach. Maybe an average coach but certainly not a bad coach. I think your just wanting a fight so bring it on.

              6. I gave you the facts that you asked of Pat. I’ll just call it a public service, you can thank me later 😉

        2. Pat,
          I wholeheartedly agree with you about McCarthy most football analysts were shocked when Jones kept McCarthy this off season. Jones has struggled hiring HCs ever since he got rid of Jimmy Johnson. McCarthy struggles most when he tries to call plays. The Cowboys should never have fired Kellen Moore.

          1. According to Pro Football,
            It says 30 years. But, I’m assuming that this includes his entire years of coaching besides head coach.
            But, either way, he’s been overrated imho. I would never take him over Shanahan!

  4. In reality, the 49ers defense was faster and more physical than its Dallas counterpart. It was in more passing lanes and making better reads on the quarterback. It either beat up the Cowboys’ offensive line at the point of attack or simply ran by it. The better running back? Christian McCaffrey. The better overall set of wideouts? They were wearing San Francisco uniforms. The best tight end? Hell, George Kittle looked like he was dating Taylor Swift on Sunday night.

    1. 49ers Defense looks like the best defense in the NFL right now. They aren’t the best statistically at rushing the passer but when you look at the defense as a whole, it looks like the best unit in the NFL. Maybe Cleveland is better but the 49ers aren’t far off. I see plays where Isaiah Oliver looks absolutely lost and then there are plays where he looks like an All Pro. I really can’t figure that guy out.

      1. Pat,
        Its pretty simple Oliver is a very inconsistent player and I think that will continue. He will improve as he becomes more comfortable in Wilks schemes but he will continue to struggle whenever he is put on an island versus a fast slot WR. I really do not look forward to seeing him try to cover C. Kupp.

  5. why is nobody talking about how the backups (offense and defense) played a full quarter, 9ers could of had 50 if they wanted. dak 3rd int came against the backups, that is correct, they couldn’t sustain a drive vs the STARters or the backups.
    burks is playing great, going to get paid in the off season

    1. Ed,
      Not by the 49ers they have Winters and Graham in the wings who will be on their rookie contracts for 3 more years after this one.

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