Finally! We are heading into game week for the San Francisco 49ers, with them hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday evening. As always, it’s the Cowboys, and we know the history the 49ers have with them. Anytime the 49ers have a chance to do anything to the Cowboys, it’s got me watching TV.
Just one problem: It’s preseason.
As much as we want to get into the competitive spirit against the Cowboys, that backdrop kind of ruins things a little bit. Still, it’s 49ers, and football. And football, even bad preseason football against a rival where it doesn’t matter is enough to get me tuned in.
So I guess now it’s like any other 49ers preseason game: what should we watch for?
Personally I’d like to see how Jimmy Garoppolo does in his first series. It’s a coin flip if he even plays, oftentimes teams will rest a good deal of their starters in Week 1 of the preseason, but if we can get a series or two out of Garoppolo, I’d be happy. There is no game planning, but just seeing him calling plays would be nice. Behind him, I’d love to see C.J. Beathard’s development as a quarterback into year two. Beathard got some starting time as a rookie in between the transition from Brian Hoyer to Jimmy Garoppolo and while he was impressive as a rookie, he also showed he was a rookie. Beathard earned the respect of the locker room in his starts, so it will be interesting to see how he is in his second year.
Beyond the quarterbacks, show me the wide receivers and the cornerbacks. Both of those groups are young and full of rookies. It will be interesting to see how the young ones do in their first (kinda/sorta) glimpse of in-game action.
But again, it’s the Cowboys. So even though I’m looking more at 49ers development, I still would love to see some chaos on the field. Last time the 49ers had the Cowboys in preseason, I got both as I got to watch the 49ers embarrass the Cowboys special teamers with a rugby player who had no idea how to play football. It was not only insightful and enjoyable, but watching the Cowboys players—players who have played football their whole lives—struggle against someone who never played football before was therapeutic.
So here we go into a bittersweet preseason week. What are you watching for from the 49ers?