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.
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.
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
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.