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49ers Avoid Late Scare Against Cowboys to Advance to Divisional Round

49ers take care of business against the Cowboys despite late game scare.

Business taken care of.

That is all it was for the San Francisco 49ers today.

But it wasn't without some heart rates being exponentially increased at some point when they avoided a late scare against the Cowboys to advance to the divisional playoff round.

From the very moment the 49ers drove the field in their opening series for a score, it was a bar being set for how the game was going to play out. There was really no chance of the Cowboys winning this game. I said it in my game prediction Saturday, and on ESPN radio San Antonio Sunday morning, that the 49ers are going to expose the Cowboys.

Dallas is a finesse team. 

They cannot keep up with a team that mauls like the 49ers and it showed today. Even when the Cowboys were selling out for the run, the 49ers offense was still in solid shape. Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel gave them so much trouble. Everything was going the 49ers way.

The defense came out to play and capped the Cowboys offense. They couldn't do anything on the ground with Ezekiel Elliot, as expected, and they couldn't drive through the air either. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb looked like nothing today. DeMeco Ryans had the perfect plan for this matchup. 

Everything was looking fantastic for the 49ers going into the fourth quarter. Looking ahead to the Green Bay was in the works because the Cowboys had nothing.

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And then, Jimmy Garoppolo gave the Cowboys life. 

An inexcusable interception, which is Garoppolo's specialty, gave the Cowboys life. 

They ended up scoring a touchdown and cutting the 49ers lead to one score. Suddenly, what seemed like cakewalk victory ended up being tremendous pressure to finish because of Garoppolo. To make matters worse, the 49ers were without Nick Bosa and Fred Warner who ended up injured on the following drive of Garoppolo's interception.

With the ball back in their hands, the 49ers needed to sustain a drive and ideally score. While they didn't score, they did drain some of the clock to give the Cowboys the ball with 2:42 left in the game deep in their own territory.  The responsibility of sealing the game with a win would fall upon the anchor of the 49ers -- the defense. But without their two best players, it would definitely be difficult. 

It would be difficult, but the defense mustered the will to seal the deal.

The Cowboys still could not do anything to the 49ers defense. It took them a gift from Garoppolo in perfect field position to score their one and only touchdown. They could not drive down the field and score a touchdown. It was impossible for them. The offense couldn't do anything more than scratch and dent the 49ers defense without the conditions being in their favor. And the fact that Bosa and Warner left the game early says a lot.

San Francisco had this win in the bag. It is not surprising to see. They were the clear cut better team. Now, they get to celebrate tonight and flip the page with a date in Green Bay. That game is going to demand significantly more.

But for now the 49ers deserve all the accolades of this win.