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San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys: A Prospector's Guide

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Now that things have settled down in the coaching ranks and the 49ers ended their losing streak, we can finally concentrate on a big game this weekend.  As bad as the 49ers have been the last few years, a game against Dallas is always a nice little pick-me-up.

The San Francisco 49ers travel to Dallas this weekend in what will be the 32nd meeting between the two teams. The series dates back to 1960 and San Francisco holds an overall 16-14-1 advantage over the Cowboys. Within the series, San Francisco and Dallas have met six times in the NFC Championship game and seven times times overall in the postseason, with Cowboys maintaining a 5-2 advantage over the 49ers.

The 49ers enter this week’s game after snapping a six-game losing streak this past Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. San Francisco scored 35 points in the fi rst half before eventually earning a 35-16 victory. QB Shaun Hill completed 15-of-20 passes for 213 yards with two passing touchdowns and one rushing score for a career-high passer rating of 142.3. Hill has now posted four contests with a passer rating over the century mark in six career games of action with the 49ers.

Gore enters this week’s game ranked third in the NFL for yards from scrimmage with 1,195. His current pace would give him 1,912 total yards on the year. The 49ers defense accounted for three turnovers and four sacks last week against the Rams. CB Walt Harris posted one sack, one interception and three passes defensed in the game.

At San Francisco, CA, September 25, 2005

The San Francisco 49ers rolled to a 24-12 halftime lead including a 31-19 advantage to start the fourth quarter before the Dallas Cowboys scored 15 unanswered points en route to a 34-31 victory. After failing to get the offense going in the first two games of the season, the 49ers managed 124 yards on the ground for a 5.0 average, and QB Tim Rattay threw three touchdown passes, including two to WR Brandon Lloyd.

Dallas rallied behind a strong performance by QB Drew Bledsoe, who threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score. WR Terry Glenn picked the 49ers secondary for five receptions and 137 yards. The 49ers scored in the first quarter for the first time all season when Rattay completed an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown strike to WR Arnaz Battle to give the 49ers a 7-0 first-quarter lead.  A total of 29 points were scored in the second quarter, with the 49ers scoring on both second quarter possessions and returning an interception for a touchdown.

Following a Dallas touchdown and a missed extra point, Rattay completed an 89-yard touchdown pass to Lloyd for a 14-6 49ers lead. On Dallas’ ensuing drive, S Tony Parrish intercepted a Bledsoe pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown and a 21-6 advantage. The Cowboys responded with an 84-yard touchdown drive to trim San Francisco’s lead to 21-12 after Dallas failed on a two-point play. The 49ers drove to the Dallas three-yard line on the next drive but were forced to settle for a K Joe Nedney 20-yard field goal and a 24-12 halftime lead. Both teams scored touchdowns in the third quarter for a 31-19 49ers lead.

Shortly after, Dallas retaliated from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Bledsoe connected on two big passes to Glenn to set up touchdowns. First, he hit Glenn for a 58-yard pass that put the Cowboys at the San Francisco 14-yard line to set up a one-yard touchdown run by RB Julius Jones early in the fourth quarter to close in at 31-26. Then, late in the fourth quarter, Bledsoe connected with Glenn on a 44-yard reception to give Dallas a first down at the 49ers 15-yard line. That play set up a 14-yard touchdown pass from Bledsoe to WR Keyshawn Johnson. Bledsoe and Johnson connected on a two-point play for a 34-31 lead with 1:48 left to play.   Rattay was intercepted for the second time in the fourth quarter with 54 seconds to play to secure the Dallas victory.

2008 Statistics

49ers (rank) Cowboys (rank)
23.0 (t-13th) Points Per Game 23.0 (13th)
315.4 (21st) Total Offense Per Game 342.2 (11th)
109.5 (17th) Rushing Yards Per Game 115.9 (13th)
205.9 (17th) Net Passing Yards Per Game 226.3 (10th)
28:47 (22nd) Possession Average 29:50 (t-18th)
27.5 (29th) Opp. Points Per Game 22.9 (t-19th)
341.7 (21st) Opp. Total Offense Per Game 293.6 (9th)
106.8 (17th) Opp. Rushing YPG 105.6 (16th)
234.9 (25th) Opp. Net Passing YPG 188.0 (7th)
-12 (31st) Turnover Differential -7 (t-28th)