Of the two afternoon games on today’s NFL kickoff schedule, the San Francisco 49ers traveling to take on the Dallas Cowboys is the one guaranteed to deliver some offense. Neither the 49ers nor Cowboys defense has gotten high marks this preseason, with the 49ers being the biggest surprise in that regard. As a result, when you watch today’s 49ers / Cowboys game you’ll likely see a high-scoring battle from AT&T Stadium.
The 49ers finished the 2013 regular season with the fifth-ranked defense in the NFL. Then the offseason and preseason happened. The Niners defense has since lost Aldon Smith to a nine-game suspension, NaVorro Bowman due to a nasty knee injury in the NFC title game, Glenn Dorsey to a left biceps tear in camp and may be without Ray McDonald in today’s Cowboys game as well.
Suddenly the 49ers look like they’ll rely on quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense more than ever.
Kaepernick finished last season 243-for-416 with 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns. His ground game was more prolific than the 2012 season, as he finished with 92 attempts for 524 yards. Although his per-rush average dropped, his total output increased.
The Cowboys’ arguably poor defense will have a tough time stopping Kaepernick in today’s 49ers game. Then again, the Niners defense will have a tough time against Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, wide receiver Dez Bryant and the rest of the Cowboys offense.
Though not expected to be an offensive powerhouse, the Cowboys do have the best opening-day winning percentage (.676) in NFL history, with a 36-17-1 all-time record. Since today’s 49ers / Cowboys game takes place in AT&T Stadium, it’s also worth pointing out that the Cowboys are 16-7-1 in home season openers.
And their not-so-secret weapon, of course, is Bryant. “Megatron” has had back-to-back 90-catch seasons and more than 1,200 yards. He also has 25 touchdowns during that time, which oddly coincides with some on-and-off play by Tony Romo. Watching Bryant slice the 49ers defense in today’s Cowboys game could be a lot of fun.
Kickoff is scheduled for today’s 49ers / Cowboys game at 4:25 EST / 1:25 PST on Fox. You can also watch 49ers vs Cowboys online free live streaming via DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket MAX package. That package requires a subscription, but all subscribers can watch the game online free via the DirecTV live stream if they’re stuck watching via their smartphone, tablet or PC.