49ers report card: No Bosa, no Warner, but no fourth-quarter collapse to mourn in Dallas

1/17/2022 4:42:00 PM

49ers report card: No Bosa, no Warner, but no fourth-quarter collapse to mourn in Dallas

49ers report card: No Bosa, no Warner, but no fourth-quarter collapse to mourn in Dallas

The 49ers outlasted the Dallas Cowboys 23-17 for a wild-card playoff win thanks to their defensive cohesion and, of course, Deebo Samuel.

ARLINGTON, Texas – Here is how the 49ers (11-7) graded inover the host Dallas Cowboys (12-6) in an NFC wild-card playoff game:PASS OFFENSE: CSan Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman) Getty Images

Honestly, this was an average passing outing, considering it came with a Jimmy Garoppolo interception (in the fourth quarter, doh!) but also some clutch third-down conversions. The opening drive saw Garoppolo go 3-for-3 to Travis Benjamin (17 yards), Brandon Aiyuk (11 yards) and Deebo Samuel (15 yards) to set up Elijah Mitchell’s touchdown run. Aiyuk (five catches, 66 yards) and Samuel (three catches, 38 yards) were complemented by Jauan Jennings’ third-down grabs. George Kittle needs more action than an 18-yard catch (fourth straight game under 40 yards). Penalties plagued their second-half possessions. Trent Williams’s return provided a valuable presence, and he said his first playoff win was better than accolades he’s received (see: nine Pro Bowl berths and 2021 All-Pro honors.)

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m. ARLINGTON, Texas – Here is how the 49ers (11-7) graded in over the host Dallas Cowboys (12-6) in an NFC wild-card playoff game: PASS OFFENSE: C San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Jan. The Cowboys lost in overtime to the Raiders, 36-33. 16, 2022. Chiefs With Scoop and Score On the ensuing 49ers possession, the Cowboys' DeMarcus Lawrence was called for defensive holding for an automatic first down. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman) Getty Images Honestly, this was an average passing outing, considering it came with a Jimmy Garoppolo interception (in the fourth quarter, doh!) but also some clutch third-down conversions. Those from San Francisco who met with the media this week were very complimentary of their NFC Wild Card opponents, especially when it came to the type of plays the Cowboys put on tape. The opening drive saw Garoppolo go 3-for-3 to Travis Benjamin (17 yards), Brandon Aiyuk (11 yards) and Deebo Samuel (15 yards) to set up Elijah Mitchell’s touchdown run. A 26-yard cutback run by Deebo Samuel had given the 49ers a 16-point lead.

Aiyuk (five catches, 66 yards) and Samuel (three catches, 38 yards) were complemented by Jauan Jennings’ third-down grabs. “I love watching Dallas film. A false start by Trent Williams then negated a first down by Garoppolo, forcing a San Francisco punt. George Kittle needs more action than an 18-yard catch (fourth straight game under 40 yards). Penalties plagued their second-half possessions. He went through a laundry list worth of analysis, from calling Cowboys running back Tony Pollard “incredible,” to saying how excited he was to go up against rookie sensation Micah Parsons. Trent Williams’s return provided a valuable presence, and he said his first playoff win was better than accolades he’s received (see: nine Pro Bowl berths and 2021 All-Pro honors. As the Cowboys attempted to line up, the referee ran from the backfield and collided with the offensive line while trying to spot the ball on the 24-yard line.) RUN OFFENSE: A ARLINGTON, TEXAS – JANUARY 16: Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers carries the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. On Friday, Parsons became only the fourth rookie linebacker since 1970 to earn first-team All-Pro honors, doing so in a season that’s seen him make an impact at all three levels of the Cowboys defense. “It was an emotional game, the highs and lows of it,” Garoppolo said.

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)  They ran 38 times for 169 yards — a winning formula — and there is one carry to spotlight: Samuel’s 26-yard cutback run for the eventual winning points, albeit 20 minutes before the game’s end. “He’s crazy to watch, to be honest,” teammate D. “Uhm, what doesn’t strike me?” McDaniel responded. The winner of the playoff matchups between San Francisco and Dallas has gone on to win the Super Bowl on five occasions.J. Jones said. I’m alive, so I’ve heard about him. “Anytime with the ball in his hands, he can go to the end zone. After the Samuel touchdown, with the 49ers facing third-and-10 at their own 24-yard line, Brandon Aiyuk left Trevon Diggs in the dust and broke wide open down the left sideline.

” Samuel called his shot, telling Kyle Shanahan to give him the ball after K’Waun Williams’ interception, and Samuel was astute in expecting the Cowboys to overpursue toward the perimeter based on how they defended him earlier in the game. I think it’s a great match, working with Dan Quinn, and they’re getting a ton out of him. Mitchell’s playoff debut featured a 4-yard touchdown run on the opening drive, and he almost broke loose for big gains (27 carries, 96 yards). PASS DEFENSE: B ARLINGTON, TEXAS – JANUARY 16: Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers gestures to the crowd after an injury against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. He gives people problems and I can see why I knew his name before I studied him and saw him play. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)  No two plays meant more than the successive ones by Jones and Williams in the third quarter to tee up Samuel’s touchdown. First, Jones sacked Dak Prescott for a 13-yard loss (“It was quick to me. Injury watch:  From a health perspective, the Cowboys will be getting San Francisco’s best shot. Dallas drove 37 yards in 11 plays for a 51-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein to get within 23-10.

I had a nice move on inside,” Jones said.) Then came an interception at the Cowboys’ 26-yard line by Williams, who missed last Sunday’s game after just coming off COVID reserve (“I was kind of reading the quarterback’s eyes, saw it, drove on it and caught it,” Williams said. Wishnowsky hasn’t cleared protocols after suffering a concussion in last week’s win over the Los Angeles Rams.) No two absences could have been more crushing than those of Nick Bosa (concussion, 1:15 before halftime) and Fred Warner (ankle, two snaps before the Cowboys’ last touchdown). So many defenders stepped up to preserve the win, whether it was Emmanuel Moseley’s team-high 12 tackles or the six players who combined for five sacks. The 49ers did sign punter Ryan Winslow to the practice squad in case Wishnowsky doesn’t get out of concussion protocol. Charles Omenihu had 1/2 sacks in his biggest workload as a 49er, but the pressure from Jones, Arik Armstead, Arden Key, Kevin Givens and Samson Ebukam kept Prescott from lighting up the secondary. “The interception just got away from me, shot it high,” Garoppolo said.

RUN DEFENSE: A ARLINGTON, TEXAS – JANUARY 16: Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers tackles Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)  No one has run for 100 yards against the 49ers since Bears quarterback Justin Fields did so on Halloween (and only two other rushers before him this season). Ezekiel Elliott averaged only 2.6 yards per carry (12 carries, 31 yards) and the more explosive Tony Pollard clocked in at 3.5 yards per carry (four carries, 14 yards). Those are the easy layup ones you’ve got to make.

The Cowboys’ key runs came from Prescott, from his fourth-quarter touchdown keeper to an ill-conceived 17-yard run that killed the final 14 seconds. The 49ers credit much of their run-defense success to Armstead on the interior, and Jones went so far as to call Armstead “the most important piece on this team.” Depth actually might be the defense’s best weapon, from that nine-man rotation on the line to the linebackers filling in for injured colleagues, to a secondary that withstood Dallas’ late-game storm. SPECIAL TEAMS: D San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould (9) kicks a field goal against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022.

(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)  Things were going so swell as Robbie Gould made all three of his field-goal attempts before halftime (53, 40, 52 yards) and remained perfect for his postseason career (18-of-18 field goals, 31-of-31 point-after kicks). But then the special teams took a turn for the worse. There was the running-into-the-punter penalty to make an Armstead sack moot (and the defense rallied in response). Even more egregious was the Cowboys’ fake punt they pulled off (vs. benched cornerback Josh Norman) in the fourth quarter.

A 32-yard kick return set up the Cowboys’ first touchdown drive. Overall: Yikes. COACHING: B San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) is assisted by team staff after suffering an unknown injury in the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)  Related Articles .