The San Francisco 49ers are a six-point underdog against the Dallas Cowboys as they continue looking for win number one on the season. The 49ers have lost six straight to open the season, and the last five have each come by a field goal or less. Can the 49ers finally get over the hump for the first win?
I chatted with Blogging The Boys editor Dave Halprin this week, and we talked about potential outcomes. I asked him how he thought the game would play out, and also what it would take for the 49ers to spring an upset. Here’s what he had to say.
I think it's going to be a close game for a while. The Cowboys have had an issue with starting slow this season in some games, and they are coming off a bye so they could be just a tad bit rusty. Plus, the game is on the road, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's a low-scoring affair at the beginning with both teams trying to find their footing. The Cowboys trying to get back in the swing and the 49ers breaking in their new quarterback.
The best chance for an upset for the 49ers would be to run the ball effectively, and then use running backs and tight ends over the middle to exploit a Cowboys defense that has been soft in that area. Sean Lee, as mentioned above, should help matters, but if the 49ers can run the ball effectively, that will allow them to work play-action and make things easier for Beathard and the offense. On defense, most teams have decided to crowd the line of scrimmage on the Cowboys to shut down the run game and take their chances with the passing game. At first it was working, but the Cowboys passing attack has gotten into gear and the running game is rounding into form. I still think that limiting the run game is the best choice when facing the Cowboys. I also wouldn't blitz Dak too much, he does well in those situations.
In the end, I think the Cowboys will end up winning by maybe a seven point margin. I think at this time they have more talent, and they are desperately fighting to get back into the playoff picture. They absolutely have to win this game or they are in serious trouble. But my confidence is not as high as I would like to be!