San Francisco 49ers

49ers report card: Beatable Cowboys beat up on home team

Offense: Blaine Gabbert and the offense were sharp early and converted their first seven third-down opportunities. But the unit managed only a field goal in the second half, and Gabbert misfired badly on a deep pass to Torrey Smith that should have been a touchdown but wound up as an interception. Grade: C-

Defense: Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott had 42 rushing yards at halftime but finished with 138. That upturn partly can be attributed to inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman’s absence for most of the second half. But for the second consecutive game, the 49ers defense was pockmarked with gaping holes. Grade: D

Special teams: The Cowboys’ second touchdown drive began with a shanked punt by Bradley Pinion. The 49ers’ return game, meanwhile, has been fine but hasn’t offered much oomph. Jeremy Kerley’s 26-yard punt return in the fourth quarter, for example, was the longest of the season for San Francisco. Grade: C

Overall: The 49ers couldn’t top – at home – a beatable Cowboys team that featured a rookie quarterback and entered the game with key injuries on offense. Adding injury to that insult – Bowman and DeForest Buckner had to be helped off the field and appear to be facing long-term injuries. One more gut punch: The 49ers play again Thursday. Grade: D-

Matt Barrows

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