The San Francisco 49ers continued their impressive start to the 2023 season with a dominant 42-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. The 49ers improved to 5-0 and maintained their lead in the NFC West, while the Cowboys dropped to 3-2 and lost their second consecutive game.
Kittle Shines with Three Touchdowns
The star of the game was 49ers tight end George Kittle, who caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Brock Purdy. Kittle finished with six receptions for 89 yards and became the first tight end in franchise history to score three touchdowns in a single game. He also tied the NFL record for most touchdowns by a tight end in a game, joining Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and others.
Kittle’s first touchdown came in the first quarter, when he beat Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith on a seam route and hauled in a 25-yard pass from Purdy. His second touchdown was a 10-yard catch in the second quarter, after Purdy escaped pressure and rolled to his right. His third touchdown was a spectacular one-handed grab in the third quarter, as he leaped over Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson and secured the ball with his right hand.
Purdy Impresses in Second Career Start
Purdy, who made his second career start after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending injury in Week 4, showed poise and accuracy throughout the game. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions. He also ran for 32 yards on five carries.
Purdy displayed his arm strength and touch on several deep throws, including a 46-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel in the fourth quarter. He also connected with Brandon Aiyuk for a 28-yard gain and Kendrick Bourne for a 24-yard gain on third-down conversions.
Purdy earned praise from his teammates and coaches for his performance. Kittle said that Purdy was “amazing” and that he had “a lot of confidence” in him. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Purdy was “very impressive” and that he “made some big-time throws”.
Cowboys Struggle on Both Sides of the Ball
The Cowboys had a night to forget, as they were outplayed and outcoached by the 49ers. The Cowboys offense was unable to sustain drives or score touchdowns, settling for three field goals and a garbage-time touchdown. The Cowboys defense was unable to stop the 49ers offense, allowing six touchdowns and 449 total yards.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had a rough game, throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble. He completed 19 of 34 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown, which came late in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. He also ran for 27 yards on four carries.
Prescott’s interceptions were costly, as they led to 21 points for the 49ers. His first interception came in the first quarter, when he threw a pass behind Amari Cooper and it was picked off by Fred Warner. His second interception came in the second quarter, when he threw a pass into double coverage and it was intercepted by Jimmie Ward. His third interception came in the third quarter, when he threw a slant pass that was jumped by Oren Burks.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said that he was “disappointed” and “frustrated” by the team’s performance. He said that the team had “a lot of work to do” and that they had to “play better” in all phases of the game.
What’s Next for Both Teams
The 49ers will look to extend their winning streak when they host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6. The Cardinals are coming off a bye week and have a 2-2 record. The 49ers have won six of their last seven meetings with the Cardinals.
The Cowboys will try to bounce back when they visit the New England Patriots in Week 6. The Patriots are also coming off a bye week and have a 3-1 record. The Cowboys have lost five of their last six meetings with the Patriots.