Dallas Cowboys started the season on a wrong foot, but there’s also a number of other things surrounding this team. For starters, there is the question of Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension. Yes, he was cleared to play against 49ers, but what about the rest of the season? Also, their owner took the matter of anthem kneeling on whole new level. He’s filling newsstands alone more than the rest of the Cowboys organization together.
In the middle of all of this, the football season is ongoing. A 2-3 start means nothing, and there’s time to turn things around. Interestingly, Cowboys’ next opponent is San Francisco 49ers. They have a 0-6 start, but this shouldn’t fool Cowboys. Same as the Dallas squad they have lost close games, and more than a couple were dropped by a few points margin. Another thing, the anthem protest started last year at Levi’s stadium by Colin Kaepernick.
Back to the match, here are a few things to look into before the game.
1) They have a 0-6 score. A deceiving data. Out of six games, last five are losses by a combined number of 13 points. Two of those games went into overtime. They are the first team in the Super Bowl era to lose five consecutive games by 3 points or less. Also, four out of those five came on the road. 49ers are in the rebuilding phase, but their roster is filled with talents.
2) After veteran Bryan Hoyer failed to impress in the first six games, in the middle of Redskins match rookie C.J. Beathard got his chance. He didn’t have a bad debut with 245 yards on 36 attempts. 19 of those were completed. A touchdown and an interception, not bad for his first NFL game. So, Cowboys don’t know what to expect out of him, and it will be tough to come up with a gameplan.
3) The head coach of 49ers is Kyle Shanahan, and this is his first job as a head coach. Previous nine seasons he was an offensive coordinator. He’s had a slow start, but as we said they are currently building their team, and the defeats came close, so their 0-6 start hides a lot more than it shows.
4) 49ers are struggling with their running game, but they are slowly improving. According to their coach, RB Carlos Hyde is one of their most important offensive weapons. He had 28 yards on 13 carries vs. Redskins last week. Trough the season he is 10th ranked RB in league with 360 rushing yards on 86 carries for four touchdowns. And, if they continue improving, Cowboys might struggle against them.
5) In the end, we have the defense. 49ers parted ways with their long-serving linebacker Bowman who signed with Raiders. His spot was taken by Reuben Foster, a rookie from the first round. Another rookie from the first round is Solomon Thomas who recorded two sacks this season. With time their defense is going to gel together, and they will be a strong unit. Let’s hope it’s not their night against Dallas Cowboys.