Brock Purdy

Grading 49ers' offense, defense in throttling of Cowboys

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SANTA CLARA — Where do the 49ers go from here?

Here’s some advice to 49ers fans: Don’t worry about that part of it; and just enjoy what has turned into weekly masterpieces of offensive efficiency and relentless defensive aggression.

The 49ers took the fight to the Cowboys on Sunday night, and Dallas could not keep up.

Quarterback Brock Purdy orchestrated an impressive offensive performance, and the defense came up with four takeaways and four sacks in a 42-10 victory over the Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

“He was really good,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of Purdy. “Everybody was pretty good.”

Get ready to read a report card that might even be better than the previous four.

Here are the grades from the 49ers’ Week 5 win over their long-time rivals:

Rushing offense

Christian McCaffrey extended his streak to 14 consecutive games with at least one touchdown from scrimmage, taking care of that matter in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown plunge. He finished with 51 hard-earned yards on 19 rushing attempts.

Jordan Mason got into the act with a team-best 69 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushing attempts.

The 49ers rushed for 170 yards on 41 attempts.

The only blemish on the evening for the running game was McCaffrey’s lost fumble in the first half.

Grade: A-minus

Passing offense

Just when you think you’ve seen it all from Purdy, you realize it’s ridiculous to put any ceiling on what the second-year quarterback can attain.

Purdy completed 17 of 24 pass attempts for 252 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 144.4.

The pass protection was magnificent, as Cowboys' star edge rusher Micah Parsons did not so much as lay a hand on Purdy.

George Kittle had a career-high three touchdown receptions, one of them coming on a 38-yard flea-flicker.

Five different receivers had more than 25 yards receiving in the game, led by Kittle’s three catches for 67 yards.

Brandon Aiyuk had four receptions for 58 yards and Deebo Samuel added three catches for 55 yards.

Grade: A

Rushing defense

The 49ers entered this game knowing Dallas wanted to be committed to their running game, but linebackers Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, and the rotating defensive line imposed their will.

Tony Pollard had just 29 yards on eight rushing attempts, as the Cowboys managed just 57 yards on 19 carries.

Warner had eight tackles and forced a fumble. Greenlaw and Oren Burks added five tackles apiece.

Grade: A

Passing defense

It’s difficult to imagine the 49ers’ pass defense could not have done much more than what it did Sunday night.

The defense played its best game of the season with four takeaways, including three interceptions of Dak Prescott, and four sacks.

Warner had one sack and one interception. Tashaun Gipson and Burks added picks, too.

Greenlaw and Kevin Givens had sacks, while Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead shared a big third-down sack to end Cowboys series in the first quarter.

Prescott completed 14 of 24 passes for 153 yards. He entered the game with just one interception in four games. He threw three on Sunday.

Grade: A

Special teams

Punter Mitch Wishnowsky had a strong game with a net average of 44.3 yards on four punts, including two inside the 5-yard line.

Punt returner Ray-Ray McCloud averaged 9.8 yards on four returns, including a 14-yarder that set up the flea-flicker touchdown.

Kicker Jake Moody made all six of his extra-point attempts.

Grade: A


Coach Kyle Shanahan put together a flawless blue print against a talented Dallas team that is widely considered one of the top three teams in the NFC.

The 49ers had a great plan to contend with Parsons, the early favorite to win NFC Defensive Player of the Year.

And receivers were running wide open all game. Shanahan caught the Cowboys with the flea-flicker that resulted in Purdy’s 38-yard touchdown pass to Kittle.

Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks also had a top-notch plan to make things difficult for Prescott and the Cowboys defense.

Grade: A


The 49ers are a better team than the Cowboys. But are they that much better than the Cowboys?

Well, they were on Sunday night. It was not even close.

“I think it’s one of our best team performances,” Kittle said.

So, understandably, it’s A’s across the board for this performance.

Grade: A

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