The first preseason game for 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was so-so at best.
Following a touchdown drive for the visiting Dallas Cowboys, Garoppolo went 3 for 6 for 34 yards in San Francisco’s opening drive Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium.
He extended the drive twice, converting two third downs with a 9-yard pass to rookie receiver Richie James Jr. and a 12-yarder to receiver Marquise Goodwin. However, he had three high throws on the drive, including two toward Goodwin and another to tight end George Kittle, who left the game hurt after the play.
The 49ers were forced to punt after Garoppolo’s final completion, a 7-yard dump to running back Jerick McKinnon on third-and-16.
Coach Kyle Shanahan on Tuesday told The Associated Press that Garoppolo would “play somewhat into the first quarter. We’ll see how long the opening drive is.”
Shanahan only gave Garoppolo one series. C.J. Beathard came in for the second series.
The 49ers trailed 7-0 when Garoppolo left the game, but rallied in the fourth quarter for a 24-21 victory. Nick Mullens, the third-string quarterback, found James on a 7-yard scoring pass with 18 seconds remaining to complete the comeback.
It’s the first game action for Garoppolo since the end of last season, when he led the 49ers to a 5-0 record to close out the team’s 6-10 campaign. Three of those victories came against teams that went to the playoffs: Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee Titans.
Garoppolo came over in a trade from the New England Patriots. San Francisco sent a second-round pick to the Patriots.
The 49ers rewarded Garoppolo for his successful run this offseason, signing him to a five-year, $137.5 million deal. His average of $27.5 million is the third-highest in the NFL behind fellow quarterbacks Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons ($30 million) and the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins ($28 million).
The 49ers’ next preseason game is on Aug. 18 in Houston against the Texans. San Francisco opens the regular season Sept. 9 on the road against the Minnesota Vikings.
Social media reaction
Here are some tweets involving Jimmy Garoppolo from Thursday’s game:
Sure it’s only the preseason, but it’s always a classic when the @dallascowboys square off against my @49ers. Plus, I’m looking forward to seeing @JimmyG_10 in his first full season as a starting QB #49ers #NFLPreseason— Jonathan Mejia (@jaymejia0813) August 10, 2018