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Recap of 49ers-Cowboys preseason opener

The San Francisco 49ers hosted the Dallas Cowboys in their 2018 preseason opener. Here’s injury updates, highlights, and notable playing time decisions throughout the evening.

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Fourth quarter update: The third 49ers turnover has occurred due to a Nick Mullens interception. The Cowboys missed the following 52 -yard field goal attempt. A nice Victor Bolden catch took the 49ers close to the redzone and Jeremy McNichols rushed it in. The 49ers failed the two-point conversion on their second try. The first one ended with a Cowboys pass interference. Of course then Nick Mullens ran the two-minute offense to take the lead with 18 seconds thanks to a key pass to Richie James. The 49ers walked away with a 24-21 come from behind victory.

Third quarter update: The 49ers put a field goal on the board, while the Cowboys added a touchdown to take a 21-10 lead into the fourth quarter. C.J. Beathard connected with rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis on a 53-yard pass. The 49ers could not build on that and settled for three. After the two sides exchanged punts, Cooper Rush quietly led the Cowboys down the field, capping the drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Lance Lenoir.

First half score: The 49ers finally got on the board near the end of the second quarter. C.J. Beathard connected with Richie James for a 21-yard pick-up. That was later followed by Kendrick Bourne drawing a 21-yard pass interference call at the Cowboys 7-yard line. Joe Williams rushed for six yards, and then one more to get the score. This cut the Cowboys lead to 14-7 at the half.

More injuries: It’s been a long first quarter for the 49ers on the injury front. After Smith went down, George Kittle suffered a shoulder injury and Solomon Thomas suffered a head injury. Both players walked back to the locker room and are listed as questionable to return. It’s unlikely either returns. Matt Breida also suffered an injury, but quickly got to the sideline.

Injuries and scores: The Dallas Cowboys marched down the field and scored a touchdown on a Dak Prescott pass to Michael Gallup. Jimmie Ward had coverage on Gallup, and seemed to be getting plenty physical with the rookie receiver. However, he looked back for the ball and Gallup took off and was wide open for the touchdown. The Cowboys lead 7-0.

Meanwhile, linebacker Malcolm Smith left the game after six plays and is in the locker room getting checked out. This is not ideal considering he missed all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle.

Defensive starting lineup: The 49ers opened the game on defense, and have a lot of the usual names out there starting. One intriguing name is rookie Jullian Taylor. The 49ers spent a seventh round pick on him this season and he has moved into the starting lineup while Arik Armstead is sidelined with a hamstring injury. With Armstead entering his fourth season, if Taylor impresses he could very well Wally Pipp Armstead. Here’s the 49ers full defensive starting lineup.

LDE: Jullian Taylor
NT: Earl Mitchell
DT: DeForest Buckner
RDE: Solomon Thomas
SAM: Eli Harold
MIKE: Malcolm Smith
WILL: Reuben Foster
LCB: Jimmie Ward
RCB: Ahkello Witherspoon
SS: Jaquiski Tartt
FS: Adrian Colbert

Team captains: The start of the preseason means we have our first weekly team captains. The team changes it up each week, and includes an offensive player, a defensive player, and a special teams player. For this first game, the team captains are running back Matt Breida, edge rusher Cassius Marsh, and special teams wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, according to Matt Barrows.

Notable names resting: The 49ers announced that 11 players will not play on Thursday’s preseason opener. The list includes DL Arik Armstead, G Jonathan Cooper, LB Brock Coyle, OL JP Flynn, G Joshua Garnett, S Marcell Harris, CB Richard Sherman, WR Trent Taylor, LB Fred Warner, TE Cole Wick, and CB K’Waun Williams.

Warner is a bit of a surprise, but he is getting over a chest injury. Korey Toomer and Elijah Lee are likely to see a whole lot of playing time with Warner and Coyle absent. Arik Armstead and Marcell Harris have some uncertainty surrounding their returns. The remaining players will be re-assessed in the next couple days with hopes they can all return to practice for the second preseason game.

Injury update: The 49ers will likely announce the players formally out for the game later in the afternoon before kickoff. In the meantime, we know of at least a handful that will not play Thursday evening. DT Arik Armstead (hamstring), OL JP Flynn (knee), CB Richard Sherman (hamstring), OG Joshua Garnett (knee), and CB K’Waun Williams (ankle) were all ruled out for the week of practice with plans to re-assess them early next week. Tight end Cole Wick is currently listed as day-to-day, and given that he did not practice on Tuesday, he likely will be sitting out the preseason opener.

Alright y’all, we are 24 hours away from the San Francisco 49ers 2018 preseason debut! The 49ers host the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium Thursday evening at 7 p.m. PT. The game is airing locally on KPIX/CBS 5, and will be broadcast on NFL Network nationally.

We’ll have game threads on Thursday, and plenty of information throughout the day and into the evening, but I thought why not open this up Wednesday evening on what is effectively like the night before Christmas? Well, maybe like the first of two nights before Christmas, since Week 1 of the regular season brings its own excitement.

There is plenty to be excited about. For the first time since really the 2013 season, there is some semblance of stability within the organization. The 49ers had Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke around together in 2014, but the whispers had already begun, and things went south in a hurry. Jim Harbaugh was gone after the 2014 season (or even during, really), and then Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly each lasted one season, before they and eventually Trent Baalke were fired.

And now, we enter year two of the Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era. We have no idea what the future holds, but for now it is smooth sailing. There have been occasional missteps, but in terms of the bigger picture, everything is looking good. The team appears to have their quarterback of the future, the cap is in just about perfect shape, and most importantly, the culture of the organization has been turned almost 180 degrees.

Even coming off a 6-10 season, it’s a good time to be a 49ers fan. Expectations are soaring, with some thinking this team could maybe challenge for a playoff spot this season. That might be a little too optimistic, but given how bad things were two years ago, just having that be a conversation point is kind of crazy.

The first preseason game is exciting in terms of getting 49ers football back in our lives, but it also means we get to see plenty of the bubble and deep roster guys. Jimmy Garoppolo and other starters will get at least a series in this first game, with a second series depending on how much work they get in the first one. We’ll start to get a handle on the depth chart, and who the team might think is worth keeping around from the bubble watch.

Nuts and bolts

49ers depth chart

Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Game time: Thursday, August 9, 7 p.m. PT
TV channel: CBS/KPIX-5, NFL Network (Do I get the game?)
Online streaming: NFL Game Pass, DirecTV Now, Sling TV
NFL Network Replay: Sun Aug 12 6:00 p.m., Wed Aug 15 5:00 p.m.
Radio: 680-AM, 107.7 (Bob Fitzgerald, Keena Turner, Dennis Brown) | Full listings
Spanish Radio: KTRB 860-AM (Jesus Zarate, Luis Landero)
Matchup history: Cowboys lead preseason series 9-6
Announcers: Ted Robinson, Tim Ryan, Dennis O'Donnell (sideline)
Enemy blog: Blogging The Boys
Twitter: @ninersnation
Facebook: Go ahead and give us a like!

Preseason schedule

Week 1 (Aug 9): vs. Dallas Cowboys, 7 p.m. - NFL Network broadcasting entire game
Week 2 (Aug 18): @ Houston Texans, 5 p.m. - KPIX (no national coverage)
Week 3 (Aug 25): @ Indianapolis Colts, 1:30 p.m. - KPIX (no national coverage)
Week 4 (Aug 30): vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 7 p.m. - KPIX (no national coverage)

Regular season schedule

Week 1: @ Minnesota Vikings, 10:00 a.m., FOX, Sunday, September 9
Week 2: vs. Detroit Lions, 1:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, September 16
Week 3: @ Kansas City Chiefs, 10:00 a.m., FOX, Sunday, September 23
Week 4: @ Los Angeles Chargers, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, September 30
Week 5: vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, October 7
Week 6: @ Green Bay Packers, 5:15 p.m., ESPN, Monday, October 15
Week 7: vs. Los Angeles Rams, 5:20 p.m., NBC, Sunday, October 21
Week 8: @ Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, October 28
Week 9: vs. Oakland Raiders, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network, Thursday, November 1
Week 10: vs. New York Giants, 5:15 p.m., ESPN, Monday, November 12
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 10:00 a.m., FOX, Sunday, November 25
Week 13: @ Seattle Seahawks, 5:20 p.m., NBC, Sunday, December 2
Week 14: vs. Denver Broncos, 1:05 p.m., CBS, Sunday, December 9
Week 15: vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 16
Week 16: vs. Chicago Bears, 1:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 23
Week 17: @ Los Angeles Rams, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 30