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49ers @ Cowboys Wild Card Playoff Live Blog

Live analysis of the San Francisco 49ers' Wild Card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Arlington, TX -- This is the live blog for the San Francisco 49ers' Wild Card playoff game against Dallas Cowboys. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from the press box.

11:09 The 49ers are 6-0 when Deebo Samuel runs the ball more than five times. If we know this, they have to know it, too. I expect the 49ers will give Samuel between six and 10 carries, and will give starting running back Elijah Mitchell between 20 and 27 carries, and those two will control the game. 

Jimmy Garoppolo probably willl commit a turnover or two, and the 49ers defense most likely will give up some big plays against the No. 1 rated offense in the league. But the difference will be the 49ers' dominant run game. The Cowboys rushing attack is merely mediocre. So the game will be easier for the 49ers. Dak Prescott will have to drop back more than Garoppolo, navigate pressure in the pocket and make throws into tight windows downfield. Garoppolo will have to hand off and make a few throws over the middle.

Samuel is the best offensive player in the NFL who's not a quarterback. So as long as the 49ers feed him the ball, he and Mitchell should carry the 49ers to victory. All bets are off if one those two were to get injured.

But they're healthy now, so I'm picking the 49ers to win a high-scoring, run-dominated game which will come down to the final possession.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: 49ers 34, Cowboys 30.

12:06 Here are the 49ers inactives:

Jaylon Moore

Talanoa Hufanga

Trey Sermon

Deommodore Lenoir

Marcell Harris

Maurice Hurst

Darqueze Dennard

This means Azeez Al-Shaair is playing.

1:36 The Cowboys win the toss and defer. The 49ers will receive the opening kickoff.


1:46 On 1st and goal from the 4, Jimmy Garoppolo pitches to Elijah Mitchell, who sprints into the end zone for the score. Easy drive. The 49ers ran 4 times for 27 yards and Garoppolo completed all three of his pass attempts.

49ers 7, Cowboys 0.

1:52 On 3rd and 12 from the Cowboys 23, Nick Bosa and Samson Ebukam sack Dak Prescott, and the Cowboys go 3 and out. The 49ers take over at their 43 after the punt.

2:01 On 3rd and 21 from the Cowboys 45, Garoppolo completes a 9-yard pass to Kyle Juszczyk, which sets up a 53-yard field goal by Robbie Gould. The 49ers have done an excellent job so far on both offense and defense.

49ers 10, Cowboys 0.

On 3rd and 6 from the Dallas 24, Arden Key draws a holding penalty, and the Cowboys punt two plays later. The 49ers take over at their 22.


2:25 On 4th and goal from the Cowboys 22, Kyle Shanahan decides to kick a field goal and not go for the first down. Strange decision. A touchdown would put the Cowboys away. 

49ers 13, Cowboys 0.

2:33 On 3rd and 5 from the Cowboys 20, K'Waun Williams gives up a touchdown catch to Amari Cooper, who ran right by him. That was a layup.

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49ers 13, Cowboys 7.

2:40 First play, Garoppolo hits a wide open Brandon Aiyuk downfield for 37. The pass was underthrown. A better pass would have resulted in a touchdown. Three plays later on 3rd and 6 from the Dallas 34, Garoppolo gets hit as he throws an incomplete pass intended for George Kittle. Then Robbie Gould makes a 52-yard field goal. He's much better in a dome.

49ers 16, Cowboys 7.

2:57 On first and 10 from the 49ers 40, Nick Bosa draws a holding penalty but suffers a head injury on the same play. A few plays later on 3rd and 19 from midfield, Prescott throws a strike to Cedrick Wilson over the middle, but Wilson loses the ball in the sun. Critical play. The sun just saved the 49ers three points before halftime.


3:17 On 3rd and 5 from the Cowboys 30, Dallas commits a false start. Then on 3rd and 10, Dallas commits another false start. Then on 3rd and 15, Arik Armstead sacks Dak Prescott. But on 3rd and 15, Mark Nzeocha commits a personal foul by running into the punter, and the Cowboys get an automatic first down at their 30.

3:21 On 3rd and 7 from the Dallas 45, Prescott throws an incomplete pass intended for CeeDee Lamb, who was covered well by Emmanuel Moseley, and the Cowboys punt. Travis Benjamin makes a fair catch at the 49ers 7. Probably should have let that one bounce.

3:24 Nick Bosa has a concussion and will not return to this game. Huge blow.

3:32 On 3rd and 1 from the 49ers 34, Jimmy Garoppolo lines up in an empty formation, feels pressure and throws the ball away. Bad call. A quarterback sneak would have been better. The Cowboys get the ball at their 23 after a 43-yard punt.

3:38 On 2nd and 29 from the Cowboys 19, K'Waun Williams intercepts Prescott. The Niners get the ball at the Dallas 26.

3:40 First play, Deebo Samuel runs around the right end for a touchdown. He is the best player in the NFL. That was his sixth carry of the game. The 49ers are undefeated when Samuel runs at least six times in a game.

49ers 23, Cowboys 7.

3:44 On 3rd and 4 from the Cowboys 31, Prescott scrambles for three yards and the Cowboys go 3 and out. They're done.

3:51 On 3rd and 11 from the 49ers 23, Garoppolo misses a wide open Brandon Aiyuk downfield. That was horrendous by Garoppolo. The Cowboys get the ball at their 30 with 1:34 left in the third quarter.


3:59 On 3rd and 4 from the Cowboys 49, Cooper drops a first down. Then the Cowboys fake a punt and gain 15 yards on a pass. Wow!!

4:03 The 49ers stop the Cowboys on 3rd and 9 from the 49ers 35. Then the Cowboys attempt a 51-yard field goal and make it with 11:53 left.

49ers 23, Cowboys 10.

4:11 On 2nd and 11 from the 49ers 43, Garoppolo throws an interception directly to Anthony Brown. Cowboys ball at the 49ers 28.

4:15 Fred Warner injures his knee on first and goal from the 7.

4:16 On 3rd and goal from the 5, Precott scrambles into the end zone for a touchdown.

49ers 23, Cowboys 17.

4:23 On 2nd and 7 from the 49ers 42, Garoppolo throws a low, incomplete pass to Kittle in the flat.

4:28 On 4th and 1 from the Dallas 49, the 49ers try to draw the Cowboys offside but fail and take a delay of game penalty. The Cowboys get the ball at their 16 with 2:42 left after the punt.

4:36 On 4th and 11 from the 49ers 47, the 49ers flush Prescott out of the pocket and force a wild, deep incomplete pass. And the defense will win a game the 49ers should have put away hours ago.

4:48 On 3rd and 11, Deebo Samuel runs around the right end and comes 1 inch away from the first down. The 49ers are going for it.

4:52. Trent Williams commits a false start, so the 49ers punt the ball into the end zone. The Cowboys get the ball at their 20 with 32 seconds and no timeouts left.

4:57 Prescott scrambles to the 49ers 24 and the clock expires as he tries to spike the ball. The 49ers win. Stay tuned for their grades.