As it turns out, the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys circled on their calendars, too. What a surprise, right?
The Cowboys defense couldn't stop a nosebleed on the 49ers opening drive and quickly fell into a 7-0 hole and has committed multiple needless penalties, while the offense went three and out on its first two possessions and has less than 20 yards on six plays.
Dallas' second offensive possession started with a peculiar horizontal pass to Tony Pollard that went backwards. The loss set up second and long, but the Cowboys should've been awarded a fresh set of downs, as 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw threw Pollard to the ground after the RB's momentum took him out of bounds.
See for yourself. This is unnecessary roughness all day long.
Refs missed blatant unnecessary roughness on Tony Pollard in first half of Cowboys vs 49ers
Folks, the ref is no more than five yards away from the tackle. The NBC broadcast caught Pollard asking for a flag after the play, but it was to no avail. If this doesn't qualify as unnecessary roughness, then what does? Ever advocating for player safety, the NFL has fought tooth and nail to remove tackles that occur out of bounds.
While Pollard wasn't fully out when Greenlaw started his tackling motion, the 49ers linebacker absolutely went over the top with his body-slam tackle. Pollard was stopped in his tracks and accepted defeat as he headed out of bounds.
The Cowboys admittedly haven't helped themselves in the penalty department. They've been offsides twice on defense and Donovan Wilson grabbed Christian McCaffrey's facemask on the first play from scrimmage.
That said, Greenlaw's WWE move going uncalled is laughable. A flag would have given Dallas their initial first down and needed breathing room amidst a sluggish start. Instead, the 49ers kept all the wind in their sails and the Cowboys haven't done much to change that, even if the defense has shaken off the rust.
We're all for the letting two of the NFL's most physical teams slug it out, but that doesn't mean players should get away with obvious penalties. Just goes to show that the standard of refereeing in the league is at an all-time low.