If this was a “measurement” game, Dallas fans should be concerned.
There is more than enough blame to throw around. Quarterback Dak Prescott struggled to find open receivers and when they did get open he missed passes that could’ve turned into something. Then he began pressing and ended up throwing three interceptions before being pulled in the blowout.
Head coach Mike McCarthy’s playcalling did the quarterback no favors, either. There was a lack of creativity and a ton of timidity.
The Dallas defense under Dan Quinn was embarrassed by Kyle Shanahan’s offense in the hands of Brock Purdy, who was able to make it look easy as he repeatedly found wide open targets in stride.
Throw in potential long-term injuries to Kavontae Turpin, Donovan Wilson and Leighton Vander Esch, and it could not have gone much worse for Dallas.
From the opening drive of the game, the defense’s performance was subpar. Penalties gave up 20 yards while the San Francisco offense marched down the field to go up early. George Kittle’s touchdown was just the beginning, and when the Dallas offense got on the field they did little to stem the building momentum.
THE DALLAS COWBOYS’ NIGHT OF EMBARRASSMENT: A CLOSER LOOK AT THE FALLOUT- Jermaine Arvie, Inside The Star
This loss can’t be thrown out. It deserves a deeper dive.
DAK AND THE OFFENSE MADE APPEARANCES BUT NOT ENOUGH
We can get one thing out of the way – Dak didn’t turn the ball over (in the first half).
He made up for it in a big way in the second half, though.
Whether or not he disregarded Tashaun Gipson playing deep is one thing, but the ball was severely thrown to the inside on that first interception.
I’m not going to pile on with the other two. We all saw them.
Dak Prescott’s stats tonight…
• 14 for 24
• 153 pass yards
• 1 TD – 3 INTs
• 51.6 passer rating pic.twitter.com/Tf6ldDyiH0
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) October 9, 2023
The “Texas” coast offense seemed to produce more of the same for the Dallas Cowboys.
Outside one well-designed explosive play in the red zone to KaVontae Turpin, it was an uphill climb thru the remainder of the game.
Mike McCarthy and Brian Schottenheimer have to explain how they have yet to figure out how to scheme CeeDee Lamb (4 receptions for 49 yards) open.
A quick summary of how the dismantling unfolded.
Twenty-eight seconds into the second frame, however, the Dallas defense returned the favor. Cornerback Jourdan Lewis met McCaffery at the 2-yard line and not only forced the fumble but recovered the ball as well. The Cowboys offense couldn’t dig out of the hole, but at least this San Francisco threat was thwarted.
Of course, after Dallas went three-and-out again, Bryan Anger had to punt out of his own end zone, which the 49ers returned for 14 yards to the Cowboys’ 38-yard line. And one play later, they were back in the end zone. With the secondary biting on the flea-flicker, Purdy took the return handoff and found Kittle wide open down the right sideline, the tight end racing to his second touchdown of the night.
Prescott and company finally found their form on their next drive as the quarterback completed 5-of-6 passes for 62 of the Cowboys’ 78 yards to pay dirt. The quarterback dropped in a perfect 26-yard pass to a speeding KaVontae Turpin on the right side of the end zone to get Dallas on the board.
Unfortunately, the 49ers responded … with more help from the Cowboys. The Dallas defense appeared to be off the field when a pass to McCaffery on third-and-4 at the San Francisco 46-yard line fell incomplete. But a personal foul on Donovan Wilson, his second 15-yarder of the night, provided a new set a downs. Given the gift, San Francisco went on score once more, McCaffery forcing his way across the goal line from 1 yard out to give the home side a 21-7 lead at the break.
Through the first 30 minutes, the 49ers had outgained Dallas, 212 yards to 93, which included holding the Cowboys to just 21 yards rushing. Of the visitors’ seven possessions in the first two quarters, six lasted no more than three plays.
Cowboys-49ers takeaways: Dallas gets pushed around, has night to forget in playoff rematch- Calvin Watkins, DMN
What is your takeaway from this embarrassing loss?
The defense had its own problems
Micah Parsons is a dynamic player for the Cowboys, but he was rendered a spectator on the football field. It didn’t matter if Parsons lined up against All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams or lined up in the A and B gaps. It didn’t matter if Parsons lined up next to defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. He didn’t register much in this contest. The Cowboys defense did get a takeaway when slot corner Jourdan Lewis stripped McCaffrey of the ball on a run inside the 5. That’s the only positive. George Kittle was just unstoppable in the passing game and Brock Purdy continues his mastery of this team. He completed 17 of 24 passes for 252 yards with four touchdown passes and a 144.4 quarterback rating. The Cowboys just couldn’t get pressure on Purdy. Parsons was credited with one quarterback pressure when Purdy was on the field. The 49ers run with a physical brand the Cowboys couldn’t handle.
Dallas Cowboys (Again) Bullied by Better San Francisco 49ers: Top 10 Whitty Observations- Richie Whitt, Sports Illustrated
Ten observations aren’t enough to summarize how poorly Dallas played.
3. TAKETH AWAY, GIVETH BACK - Cowboys’ cornerback Jourdan Lewis made what felt like a game-changing play when he stripped Christian McCaffrey and recovered the fumble in Dallas’ 5-yard line early in the second quarter. But after a sack of Prescott and a punt, on Dallas’ next defensive snap Lewis was fooled and beaten by San Francisco’s double-reverse pitchback that resulted in George Kittle’s 38-yard touchdown and a 14-0 margin.
2. TELL-TALE SIGN - In their three losses to the Niners the Cowboys have been out-gained on the ground by a startling 452-210, including 170-57 Sunday night. San Francisco’s domination starts in the trenches.
1. STRIKE THREE - We’ve cringed through this movie enough times to know the outcome. San Francisco runs the ball better, takes care of the ball better and tackles better than Dallas. Twice in the playoffs and now once in a regular-season marquee matchup, the Cowboys have proven they have neither the plan nor the personnel to beat the 49ers.
Cowboys fans are fed up with Mike McCarthy, uncreative offense after SNF embarrassment- Jerry Trotta, The Landry Hat
Safe to say Cowboys Nation is not pleased after that performance.
Somehow, Mike McCarthy came up with a worse 3rd and mid play call than “throw it to the guy two yards short of the sticks.”
My guess is they were prepared to go for it if they even picked up 2 yards. But, lol.
— David Helman (@davidhelman_) October 9, 2023
yikes, Mike McCarthy.
— KD Drummond (@KDDrummondNFL) October 9, 2023
Hated that punt by Mike McCarthy. Have some stones.
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) October 9, 2023
yo WTF are you doing Mike McCarthy??????
— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) October 9, 2023
Yep. Mike McCarthy calling a pretty yucky game so far https://t.co/YEivVtS241
— David Howman (@_DH44_) October 9, 2023
This is basically the theme of Cowboys social media right now. Fans are livid, and understandably so after the team laid an egg in its biggest game of the year. Dallas won’t live down this no-show anytime soon and we’re hard-pressed to think of anything they can do between now and the playoffs to make anyone take them seriously.
The defense will most likely bounce back, but McCarthy’s offense has been a talking point since the first game of the season. The offensive line was healthy for the first time since 2021. Prescott had his full complement of weapons and the Cowboys had less than 200 yards of total offense and four turnovers to show for it.
Concern for a C.J. Goodwin injury.
There is concern about Cowboys special teams ace C.J. Goodwin’s left pectoral, two people familiar with situation said. He exited with an announced shoulder injury. Team to gain better sense in Monday MRI where situation stands. One of several injuries Sunday in loss to 49ers.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 9, 2023
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