Dallas Cowboys keep playoff hopes alive in win over 49ers

Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys beat the 49ers to keep their minimal playoff hopes alive

The Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers have been hit the hardest with injuries this season. Dallas was missing eight starters, while San Fran was missing seven starters. Included in those injuries; are both teams’ starting quarterbacks.

Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott missed his first NFL game due to injury, and Tony Pollard got the start. Pollard finished the game with 12 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 63 yards, ending the game with 132 total yards.

The Cowboys forced two fumbles in the first quarter. One was on a 49ers’ punt return, and the other was by stripping quarterback Nick Mullens. That is the eighth consecutive game Dallas forced two or more turnovers this season. The last time Dallas did this was back in 2008.

It is great to see the defense force turnovers, which they struggled with the past couple of seasons. What adds the cherry on top is the Cowboys offense capitalizing with a touchdown on both following drives.

Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was the man that forced Mullens to fumble the ball. That was his fourth forced fumble this season, which ties his career-high from his monster 2017 season. He finished the game with five total tackles, with one being for a loss of yards and the one forced fumble.

Donovan Wilson picked off Mullens in the fourth quarter for his first interception of the season. It also extends Mullens’ streak of consecutive games throwing an interception to six games, which leads the NFL.

An interception by Anthony Brown marks the fourth forced turnover and second interception of the day for Dallas’ defense. It set up a 40-yard spin and sprint for a touchdown by Pollard.

Off of the four turnovers, they scored 23 of their 41 total points. The four turnovers are also the most since Dallas played the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8.

Rookie CeeDee Lamb returned an onside kick 47 yards for a touchdown. That is the first time since 2008 that a Cowboy returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

In a jaw-dropping fashion, C.J. Beathard whipped a 49-yard Hail Mary to end the game. Beathard entered the game late in the fourth quarter after Mullens exited with what looked like an injury to his throwing arm.

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Final Score: Cowboys 41, Niners 33

The Dallas Cowboys stay at AT&T stadium next to play the visiting Philadelphia Eagles. Kickoff is at 3:25 CDT on Sunday.