In their second preseason game of 2015, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 23-6. It was their first preseason win of the year.
The 49ers came out of the gate with a field goal on their opening drive after a three and out. Jarryd Hayne made an over the shoulder catch and returned a punt for 27 yards in order to set up a short field.
Hayne’s special team efforts also included a 34-yard and 23-yard punt return where the last one setup another field goal from Phil Dawson. He showed impressive abilities to cut inside and out, being tough to tackle in space.
The Australian also contributed offensively with 54 rushing yards on eight carries. His longest run was a 34-yard gain in the third quarter on a run to the left.
However, the biggest return to the field was NaVorro Bowman, his first game since tearing his ACL in the 2013 NFC Championship game. He had three tackles total with two of them for loss, including one on the opening play from scrimmage. The 49ers took him out after the first defensive possession.
Head coach Jim Tomsula said Bowman wasn’t scheduled for many snaps. He joked that he would delay the game in order to get his LB off the field.
“I told him I wasn’t going to go through more than five plays,” Tomsula said. “I’m glad I didn’t have to call a timeout to get him out.”
After the Cowboys looked like they were driving, the 49ers defense had other plans. Dustin Vaughan would throw an interception to Mike Purcell and it would be returned 37 yards for a touchdown.
The running game from the 49ers would also be impressive, with Carlos Hyde and Mike Davis taking the load. They combined for 73 yards on 15 carries, averaging 4.8 yards per attempt.
In the fourth quarter, the 49ers added another touchdown where Quinton Patton blocked a punt and picked up the loose ball for a score. The defense kept Dallas off the board until the fourth quarter, where a late touchdown by Nick Harwell prevented a shutout. Tony Romo only played the first possession and the reserves shut them down.
Tomsula said the team played well, but still said there is a lot to learn. He specifically liked the improvement on reduced penalties from last week, hoping to build off this performance.
“[In the] game today, there was some nice things that went on,” Tomsula said. “There’s stuff we got to learn off of.”
The 49ers will play their next preseason game against Denver Broncos on Saturday, August 29 at 6:00 p.m. PT. It will be their last preseason game with a 90-man roster.
–Glenn Dorsey, Bruce Ellington, Philip Wheeler and Jimmie Ward were inactive tonight.
-Vance McDonald left the game with an ankle injury and was unable to return.
-Tank Carradine injured his leg during the game and was escorted to the locker room. Craig Dahl also had a back injury, but Tomsula said all three players don’t have “earth shattering” injuries.