49ers Have Difficulty Containing Cowboys’ Rookies in 24-17 Loss

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 02: Blaine Gabbert #2 of the San Francisco 49ers prepares to throw a pass against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliot were the stories of week 4 as the San Francisco 49ers dropped a close one at home by a final score of 24-17. In a game where the 49ers were supposed to gain back their momentum, the Cowboys sucked the life out of them and turned what was a promising start into a grim loss by the final score of 24-17.

Week 4 Preview: San Francisco 49ers v. Dallas Cowboys

The 49ers had a strong start to the game. What looked like a promising drive for QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys turned into a missed 47-yard field goal from K Dan Bailey. The 49ers put together a successful drive, culminating in a 33-yard Gabbert touchdown to WR Jeremy Kerely, who looked like a go-to guy early on. After the 1st, the 49ers led 7-0, but had ended the quarter in the red zone.

To start the second quarter, on third down, RB Carlos Hyde ran it 3 yards into the end zone.

In week 3, against Seattle, the 49ers started 0/10 on third downs. To start this game, with the energy of the home crowd, the 49ers went 6/6 on third down. Curtis Modkins did a fantastic job and did not limit Gabbert whatsoever.

Early in the second quarter, the 49ers jumped ahead to a 14 point lead. Their first punt came with about 7 minutes left in the second quarter.

The first Cowboys’ score came after a controversial call against the 49ers. SS Jaquiski Tartt was called for a personal foul for roughing Prescott. Had he not been called for that, the 49ers’ would have gotten a huge 3rd down sack. After a couple RB Ezekiel Elliot runs, Prescott tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to WR Terrance Williams. The Cowboys had gained their momentum back after that call. 

The last drive of the half was a disaster for the 49ers. An awful punt for P Bradley Pinion led to a successful Cowboys drive, led by TE Jason Witten, who had been fairly quiet. Witten continued to burn the 49ers play after play. The Cowboys finished with another Prescott touchdown to WR Brice Butler, tying the game at 14.

After a successful first drive from Gabbert, TE Garrett Celek, and RB Carlos Hyde, the 49ers scored a field goal. Despite this bit of momentum, they didn’t do much else in the quarter. Prescott and Elliot continued to find holes in the defense and were able to score a touchdown, going up 21-17 at the end of the third quarter.

The story of the third, however, was that LB NaVorro Bowman, who had been having a good game with 8 tackles and a sack, was carted off the field.

On Gabbert’s first deep attempt in the fourth quarter, and really the whole game, he threw an awful interception to CB Morris Claiborne. This set up a long and time consuming drive for the Cowboys, which ended in a field goal, putting them up 24-17 with just 4 minutes to go.

Having a good game until the interception, Gabbert couldn’t get the 49ers back into it. He finished going 16/23 with 196 yards, a touchdown, and an awful interception.

Gabbert led the 49ers down to about the Cowboy’s 42 yard line, but on 4th and 6, he could not pick up the first down, and the Niners turned it over.

Prescott and Elliot were unstoppable for the Cowboys today. Prescott finished going 23/32 with 245 yards and two touchdowns, while Elliot finished with 138 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown.

The 49ers are back at home next weekend as the face the Arizona Cardinals. With a loss against the Cowboys, without their number one receiver and their starting quarterback, a win against the Cardinals would be both a mental and physical victory, which they desperately need at this stage in the season.


Tej is a Bay Area native and Senior Staff writer for NinerFans.com. A devout San Francisco 49ers and Golden State Warriors fan, Tej is determined to get you the information you crave. His work has been featured on the FanSided Network, Bleacher Report, and Sports Illustrated.