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Cowboys vs. 49ers: Dallas heads to San Francisco after dominant performances from both teams

The Cowboys next opponent, the 49ers, stayed unbeaten with an explosive performance against their division rival.

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NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

McCaffrey’s Four-TD Day Steals the Show; Five Takeaways from #AZvsSF - Lindsey Pallares,

San Francisco shines in all three phases in win over the Cardinals.

Running Back Christian McCaffrey Sets a New Franchise Record

McCaffrey continues to rack up the accolades for his stellar play in 2023. On Sunday against the Cardinals, the dual-threat back cemented himself in team history by overtaking Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice’s streak of 12-consecutive games with one-or-more touchdowns from the 1987 season. That was just the start of his production in Week 4 which materialized into a four-touchdown performance. He was one score shy of matching a 49ers single-game touchdown scoring franchise record.

Cornerback Kendall Sheffield and the Special Teams Back Up the Cardinals

Sheffield, one of the newer additions to the 49ers practice squad, came up big for the 49ers on a second half special teams play. Following a 45-yard punt from Mitch Wishnowsky, Sheffield got his hands on the punt near the goal line. Before falling into the end zone and giving Arizona the touchback, he tossed the punt back into play to force the Cardinals to begin their first offensive series of the third quarter inside the 1 yard line.

Goal Line Stop from Safety Talanoa Hufanga

The 49ers All-Pro was responsible for stopping a two-point conversion attempt by Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs. After Dobbs broke a tackle on the left side, Hufanga shoved the quarterback out of bounds to keep them from making it a four-point game.

McCaffrey scores 4 TDs to lead the 49ers past the Cardinals 35-16 - AP, ESPN

Play-calling was the only thing to stop Christian McCaffrey.

The only person who could stop Christian McCaffrey from tying a San Francisco franchise record with a fifth touchdown was his own coach.

McCaffrey had a chance to tie the Niners record held by Jerry Rice and Ricky Watters when San Francisco drove down to the 1 late in the game, but coach Kyle Shanahan called for a run to fullback Kyle Juszczyk that got no yards before Brock Purdy scored on a sneak.

“Honestly, I had no idea until I just came in here that he had four touchdowns,” Shanahan said. “I never know that type of stuff. I was actually shocked. I feel kind of bad about it. I wish I had tried.”

McCaffrey acknowledged after the game that tying the record “would have been nice,” but held no bitterness at his coach for the missed opportunity.

“He’s obviously got a lot going on in game,” he said. “That’s the last thing to worry about. As long as we scored, I was happy.”

What we learned as McCaffrey’s four TDs fuel 49ers’ win vs. Cardinals - Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports

49ers QB Brock Purdy also put on a near perfect showing in Week 4.

Purdy completed 20 of 21 pass attempts for 283 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a passer rating of 134.6.

He set the 49ers’ single-game record for completion percentage at 95.2 percent. The previous record (at least 20 attempts) was Steve Young, 1991 vs. Detroit (18 of 20) 90 percent.

The 49ers touched the ball on just three drives in the first half (not including a kneel-down in the final seconds), and each possession ended with a touchdown.

Purdy did not put the ball on the ground before halftime, completing all 10 of his pass attempts for 145 yards and a touchdown. His first-half passer rating was 152.1.

It was the first time a 49ers quarterback did not throw an incomplete pass in the first half of a game with at least 10 attempts since Steve Young (also 10-for-10) on Oct. 16, 1994, against the Atlanta Falcons.

The 49ers turn their attention to showdown against the Cowboys after winning their 4th straight - Josh Dubow (AP), USA Today

San Francisco’s attention immediately turns to Sunday night’s clash against Dallas.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers hadn’t had time to bask in the glow of their fourth straight win to open the season when the attention turned to next week.

Sure, a 4-0 start with at least 30 points in every game was reason for encouragement for the 49ers, who beat Arizona 35-16 on Sunday.

But they know that won’t mean much if they can’t win next Sunday night in a showdown against the Dallas Cowboys.

“That’s OK,” star left tackle Trent Williams said of the team’s fifth 4-0 start in franchise history. “As soon we finish one game, we’ve got to look forward to the next one. Yeah, you celebrate wins. ... But at the end of the day you got the Dallas Cowboys rolling in and resting on a four-game winning streak doesn’t really seem like the thing to do right now.”

The Niners are hitting on all cylinders ahead of their matchup against one of the NFC’s leading contenders and the team they knocked out of the playoffs the past two seasons.

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