Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has played like, well, Blaine Gabbert. On the outside, the 49ers lack any real wide receiver threat that could be compared to what Dallas has seen so far this year. In the interior, the 49ers are weak, outside of Joe Staley, there isn't much talent up front.
Despite all of these problems on the offensive side of the ball, 49ers running back Carlos Hyde has become a certified beast. Already rushing for 225 yards and 4 touchdowns through this early season, Hyde flashes running abilities that only the top tier backs in the league seem to have.
He is dangerous, and considering how inconsistent the Cowboys run defense has been this year, he is going to be a problem this Sunday.
Looking a little like his “little brother” at Ohio State, Ezekiel Elliott, Carlos Hyde possess the vision and patience to allow his blocks to be set before showing his burst through the hole.
Here we see a perfect example of this patience. When Hyde first gets the ball, he doesn't see much daylight. But he allows the pulling guard to get around and the blocks to develop before hitting the hole with velocity.
Then, Hyde cuts on a dime, making the defender miss before racing down the field for a huge gain.
Speaking of patience, Carlos Hyde puts on a clinic on this play. Hyde allows the play to develop, trusting his offensive linemen to get to the right spots, and then accelerates for a touchdown.
What can the Cowboys do?
First and foremost, the Cowboys defensive tackles need to have a day.
Terrell McClain has been really good for Dallas thus far, especially in the run game. He will need to continue to clog up the middle, shed blockers, and make plays on Hyde to counteract that patience and vision which Hyde possesses.
By clogging up the line of scrimmage, the Cowboys can both take away rushing lanes from Hyde, and blurry his excellent vision.
The Cowboys middle linebackers also need to step up this Sunday. Time and time again I saw Hyde give linebackers and defensive backs the shakes, avoiding tacklers and turning 5/6 yard gains into big plays. Sean Lee and company will need to break down and be sound fundamentally this week, or else Carlos Hyde could embarrass them.
To put it bluntly, the 49ers are not a good football team. With that being said, they do have a few players who can make big plays to change the game at any moment. Carlos Hyde is that type of player, and the Cowboys must neutralize him in order to win Sunday.