ARLINGTON, Texas – Here are some initial quick thoughts about the Cowboys' defense from Sunday's loss to the 49ers.
- Until Orlando Scandrick comes back from suspension, this defense is going to struggle to cover receivers on third down. It was clear from the opening snap that the 49ers were interested in attacking cornerback Morris Claiborne and knew that they could go in his direction when they needed a completion.
Offensive coordinators know where soft players are on the field, which Claiborne was. * I am interested to see the tape of this game on Monday, but from my seat in the press box, Rolando McClain and Bruce Carter appeared to be the best defensive players on the field for Rod Marinelli today. Without question.
- Need to check this on Monday, but I am not sure how much Henry Melton really played. I noticed Davon Coleman on several plays, which was good, but no Melton. Knew that the staff was interested in working him into game shape, so might have limited his snaps. This defense is going to need him more, and sooner rather than later.
- The 49ers read-option attack with quarterback Colin Kaepernick can be difficult to deal with because of how disciplined you have to be with your assignments to stop it. This Cowboys defense did a nice job of not allowing it to be a problem by getting off blocks and getting into those lanes, which made Kaepernick have to make a decision with the ball. [embedded_ad] I also felt like the defense did a nice job of not allowing Kaepernick to just take off on the quarterback run. The defense was sound in both of these areas.
- San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman gave Kaepernick some very easy throws in this game. When you can run routes with big-bodied receivers like Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis right in front of dropping zone linebackers for 8- to 10-yard gains, it's like stealing. Give the 49ers a lot of credit. They had a nice idea when they were going to get that type of coverage and took advantage of it.
- If you listened to our Friday addition of Talkin' Cowboys, I predicted the final score: San Francisco 28, Dallas 17. I honestly take no satisfaction in being right.