Dallas Cowboys () vs San Francisco 49ers ()Date : 08/09/2018
Time : 10:00 PM
Location : Levi's Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers feel a sense of rejuvenation after they got the QB of the future and they will put it to the test in week 1 of the preseason as they will open up at Levi’s Stadium in a home game against the storied Dallas Cowboys in an NFC matchup, opening kick is slated for 10:00 PM.
Dallas Cowboys's Latest Performance :
The 49ers started 2017 with a 1-10 record but that was before they found their QB of the future via trade which resulted in San Francisco rattling off 5 straight wins and giving 49er fans hope that change is to come after missing out on the postseason for a 4th consecutive season. Jimmy Garoppolo was supposed to be the successor for Tom Brady but that got derailed when the former FCS product got traded halfway through the season. Garoppolo was a savior for the 49ers last season as he was able to throw for 1,560 yards and 7 TDs which were both team-highs in only 5 starts. The 49ers moved on from their top running back from 2017 in Carlos Hyde (938 yards, 8 TDs) but they were able to replace him with Jerick McKinnon who is a solid pass catcher out of the backfield. The 49ers have been trying to develop their own WRs through the draft which shows the youth of the unit but there is a ton of potential for Garoppolo and company. Speedy WR Marquise Goodwin was one of the few veterans in the WR unit but his experience showed as he led the 49ers with 962 yards and 2 TDs. The 49ers added some youth to the position group this past offseason as they drafted Dante Pettis in the 2nd round, Richie James in the 7th round as well as added Steven Dunbar in the undrafted free agent market. The defense needs to be much improved this season if the 49ers want to compete in the NFC West as they let opponents score an average of 23.9 PPG last season which ranked 25th in the NFL. Something the 49ers want to avoid is having their CB as the top tackler as Dontae Jackson led the team with 68 and contributed 1 interception. Lining up opposite of Jackson will be Richard Sherman who was booted from their rival Seattle Seahawks after contributing 32 interceptions throughout his career. Former 1st round pick Reuben Foster was given the task of running the defense last year and the former Alabama Crimson Tide LB went through growing pains which is why he only contributed 59 tackles and 0 sacks. The pass rush is young but promising as the 49ers have used first-round picks on DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas. The duo has yet to really get their feet wet in the NFL as they combined for 6 sacks last year but the departure of Elvis Dumervil gives the two a perfect opportunity to step into a starting role.
San Francisco 49ers's Latest Performance :
The Dallas Cowboys looked like they changed the script back in 2016 as they went 13-3 and made the NFC divisional round but that story got old quick as Dallas failed to make the playoffs last season with a 9-7 record. The Tony Romo era was up and down for the Cowboys but they have a good grip on the future with Dak Prescott as the former 4th round pick was able to throw for 3,324 yards and 22 TDs with minimal WRs in what was his 2nd season. The youth doesn’t stop at the QB position but bleeds into the backfield as the Cowboys have been led by Ezikel Elliot for the last 2 seasons. Elliot was sidelined for 6 games last season which skewed his stats but the former 1st round pick was still serviceable as he rushed for 983 yards and 7 TDs as well as contributed 269 yards through the air. The WR room was better off as a reality TV show last season which prompted the Cowboys to depart with their top WR, Dez Bryant. Bryant is a top 10 WR hence his 838 yards and 6 TDs last season but the former 1st round pick hasn’t been hesitant in speaking out about his role and other players which prompted Jerry Jones to release him. Terrance Williams is the top returning WR after posting 568 yards last season but Williams may be overshadowed by the newly acquired Tavon Austin and Allen Hurns. The 4-3 defense wasn’t anything special last season but it did enough to keep the Cowboys in all of their games as they are led by LB Sean Lee. Lee only played in 11 of the 16 Cowboy games last season but the former Penn State Nittany Lion didn’t let that get in the way of him leading the team in tackles as he racked up 70. The Cowboys have a good group of LBs behind Lee as they have youngsters Jaylon Smith (50 tackles) and 1st round pick Leighton Vander Esch filling in the rest of the rotation. The pass rush was deadly for the Cowboys last season as Demarcus Lawerence was able to contribute 14.5 sacks and they were able to add to it with the addition of Kony Ealy in the offseason. The back half of the defense is commanded by safety Jeff Heath who was able to contribute a team-high 3 interceptions last season and an additional 55 tackles. The secondary is young and still going through their growing pains but we can expect 23 years old CBs Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Xavier Woods to take a step forward this season.
How Dallas Cowboys & San Francisco 49ers Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Dallas went 8-7-1 ATS in 2017.
San Francisco went 9-7 ATS in 2017.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Dallas ranked 14th in PPG as they scored an average of 22.1 PPG while San Francisco ranked 20th with 20.7 PPG.
Dallas ranked 13th in points allowed as they let opponents score an average of 20.8 PPG while San Francisco ranked 25th with opponents scoring 23.9 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: San Francisco 49ers -3.5
My reason for the pick :
There is a ton of promise and excitement in San Francisco as their team has a ton of young weapons and a promising QB, something that fans have been waiting for since their Super Bowl loss back in 2012. The reason that I am backing the 49ers is exactly for the reason I stated before they are young and promising and Kyle Shannahan will play all of his rookies and 2nd-year players to give them some confidence heading into the season. The backup QB situation is muddy for the Cowboys while the 49ers have C.J. Beatheart who wasn’t terrible in the 5 games he started last year (1,430 yards, 4 TDs). San Francisco will be rocking even though it’s a preseason game as their fans are one of the most loyal in the NFL, expect the 49ers to win and cover the small -3.5 spread.