This is the live blog for the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 15 road game against the Dallas Cowboys. I will update this with information and analysis from my living room.
8:00 There’s breaking news. Jimmy Garoppolo almost certainly won’t play again this season, but George Kittle might, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Apparently, Garoppolo’s ankle injury has not fully recovered and there’s a risk he would reinjure it if he were to play again this season. Plus, both he and the 49ers want him healthy this offseason, presumably so the 49ers can trade him at his highest value. I’m sure the 49ers would consider keeping Garoppolo if the salary cap weren’t going down next year. But it is going down, due to the pandemic. No one could have foreseen this happening a year ago. And so, Garoppolo most likely will be a cap casualty. The 49ers will have to find a team will lots of cap space to trade a mid-round pick for Garoppolo. Perhaps the 49ers can trade him to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They will have $80 million in cap space next year.
Kittle could return to the 49ers if they’re still in the playoff race after this week. They technically aren’t eliminated yet, although the chances of them making the postseason are remote. The fact that Kittle is even considering playing show’s how committed to the franchise he is. If I were running the team, I would shut him down for the rest of the season.
8:30 Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is INACTIVE. Big break for the 49ers, who still will find a way to lose.
8:40 Here are the 49ers’ inactives:
Verrett being inactive is a surprise. He didn’t miss any days of practice.
10:00 The 49ers receive the opening kickoff.
10:03 On third and 1, Ross Dwelley commits a false starts. And on third and 6, Jordan Reed drops a pass over the middle. So the 49ers go three and out. Two big mistakes on the opening drive by a team that specializes in beating itself.
10:07 On third and 2, Andy Dalton throws an incomplete pass to running back Tony Pollard. Defensive end Kerry Hyder had the coverage. The Cowboys go three and out.
10:08 Richie James Jr. fumbles the punt return and the Cowboys recover at the 49ers 22.
10:12 On third and goal from 1 the one, Cowboys running back Tony Pollard scores a rushing touchdown.
49ers 0, Cowboys 7.
10:20 On third and 8, Mike McGlinchey gets beaten around the edge and Nick Mullens gets the ball stripped as he’s throwing and the Cowboys recover. McGlinchey wasted no time to make his presence felt in this game.
10:25 On first and goal from the 3, Dalton throws a touchdown pass to Michael Gallup, and this game is over. A first-round knockout.
49ers 0, Cowboys 14.
10:39 On second and goal from the 5, Mullens throws a touchdown pass to Jordan Reed in the back-left corner of the end zone. Don’t bring in C.J. Beathard just yet.
49ers 7, Cowboys 14.
10:52 On third and 6 from the 49ers 21, Arik Armstead sacks Andy Dalton. Armstead now has 2.5 sacks this season. He’s still here, as Mike McGlinchey would say.
10:54 The Cowboys makes a 48-yard field goal.
49ers 7, Cowboys 17.
11:11 On fourth and goal from the 2, Nick Mullens flips the ball to Brandon Aiyuk running a jet sweep, and Aiyuk scores. Great play call. Strong four-inch pass by Mullens. And the 49ers are back in the game.
49ers 14, Cowboys 17.
11:12 Mullens took a sack on the first play of that drive, then escaped the pocket to this right and threw a 21-yard pass to Richie James Jr. on the second play. That got the 49ers moving. On second and goal at the two, Mullens missed an open Dwelley. And on third and goal, McGlinchey missed a block during a run. Shanahan’s call on fourth and goal bailed out both of them.
11:19 On third and 7 from the Cowboys 47, Dalton throws an incomplete deep pass, and the Cowboys punts. Niners ball at their 11.
11:25 On third and 12, Mullens escapes the pocket to this right and throws the ball away. After the punt, the Cowboys get the ball at their 44.
11:33 On second and 10 from the Dallas 44, Armstead records his second sack of the game. But on third and 18, Javon Kinlaw jumps offside and gives Dallas a free play, and Dalton completes a 22-yard pass to CeeDee Lamb, who knocks out Jimmie Ward. Ward leaves the game with a concussion.
11:34 The Cowboys miss a 50-yard field goal with 22 seconds left.
11:37 The 49ers let the clock run out.
11:55 On third and 9 from the Dallas 26, Dalton scrambles, Kinlaw strips the ball from him but the officials rule he was down. Bad call. Niners ball at their 29 after the punt.
12:02 On third and 1 from the 49ers 23, Shanahan calls that predictable shotgun run up the middle for Jeff Wilson Jr. and he gains no yards. Bad call. But the on fourth and 1, Shanahan decides to kick the field goal, and Robbie Gould makes it. Good call. The defense is playing well. The offense can be conservative.
49ers 17, Cowboys 17.
12:08 On third and 7 from the Cowboys 43, Marcell Harris gives up a 43-yard catch to CeeDee Lamb. Next play, Richard Sherman misses a tackle in the flat and Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz scores a touchdown. That’s the second tackle Sherman has missed in this game.
49ers 17, Cowboys 24.
12:25 On third and 8 from the 49ers 15, Mullens completes a short pass to Jordan Reed who runs for the first down and gains 14 yards. Next play, Jeff Wilson Jr. dives into the end zone for the 49ers. He’s playing for Mostert, who reinjured his high-ankle sprain.
49ers 24, Cowboys 24.
On third and five from the Dallas 34, K’Waun Williams breaks up a pass intended for Gallup, and the Cowboys go three and out. The 49ers get the ball at their 24 after a fair catch.
12:35 On third and 7, Dallas blitzes and Mullens completes a three-yard pass to Aiyuk. McGlinchey is injured.
12:40 On third and 4 from the Dallas 46, Emmanuel Moseley breaks up a pass intended for Noah Brown, and the Cowboys go three and out. Trent Taylor lets the punt bounce and Dallas downs it at the 49ers 2.
12:46 On third and 6 from the 49ers 16, Mullens throws a pick.
12:47 On third and 10 from the 28, Witherspoon breaks up a pass intended for Noah Brown. The Cowboys make a 46-yard field goal.
49ers 24, Cowboys 27.
12:53 On third and 11 from the 49ers 46, Mullens throws an incomplete deep pass up the right sideline intended for Aiyuk, and the 49ers punt. Cowboys get the ball at their 9 after the punt.
12:58 On third and 17, the Cowboys calls a wide-receiver pass back across the field to their running back, which picks up 12. The Cowboys punt. 49ers ball at their 29.
1:05 On second and 9 at midfield, Mullens throws his second pick.
1:06 On second and 4 at the 40, Tony Pollard breaks a tackle and scores a touchdown.
49ers 24, Cowboys 34.
1:17 Mullens leaves the game with an arm injury. Robbie Gould makes a 31-yard field goal with 40 seconds left. The 49ers have no timeouts. They have to attempt an onside kick.
1:20 CeeDee Lamb returns the onside kick for a touchdown.
49ers 24, Cowboys 41.
1:25 Beathard throws a Hail Mary touchdown to Kendrick Bourne as the game ends.
49ers 33, Cowboys 41.
Stay tuned for the 49ers grades.