The one thing the Cowboys couldn't afford to do coming into this game was to shoot themselves in the foot. That took all of three plays before that very thing started happening.
And once it started it didn't stop until the whistle blew for halftime. By that time DeMarco Murray fumbled a ball returned for a touchdown, Tony Romo had thrown three interceptions, and before they knew it, they were down 21-3.
Coming into the game not many gave the Cowboys a shot, but if they did have a shot it was going to be their offense keeping them in the game.
Well, it didn't work out like that. The offense actually cost this team the game.
The team continued the trend of costly penalties and bad play-calling from last season. Twice the Cowboys had the ball inside the five yard line and elected to pass instead of running the ball. The 49ers might have had the line stacked but that hadn't stopped the Cowboys from running successfully earlier in those drives.
Starting QB Tony Romo looked like a quarterback who hasn't had a lot of work leading into the game. He looked rusty and confused by the scheme the 49ers were showing him. And when he wasn't confused, he was making errant throws and making bad decisions.
The Cowboys did show the ability to call running plays and actually ran the ball really well. DeMarco Murray had an outstanding game as the offensive line gave him running lanes from start to finish.
If there were any bright spots or some hope that came out of this game, it was the Cowboys defense. It isn't anywhere near as bad as last season and the team got pressure on Collin Kaepernick throughout the game.
Even though the defense showed improvement, they also showed they still had plenty of work to do.
The secondary continued to have blown coverages. Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne both struggled in the game, however both had some good moments as well. Both have seen little to no time in the preseason and that showed. The linebackers played well and Bruce Carter might have found a home at the strong side linebacker position. Rolando McClain looked like a beast at times and Justin Durant… Well, he did fine though he ended up injuring his groin.
The front four got pressure and played well against the run until they seemed to lose steam late in the fourth quarter. That also could have been due to the burst of rookie RB Hyde…
When it was all said and done, the Cowboys offensive miscues were just too much to come back from for a team that couldn't afford to have those miscues to begin with.