Don't Forget About These Five: Missed Chances In Early Going

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ARLINGTON, Texas - Highlights of the 49ers' 28-17 win over the Cowboys will likely include some of the key turnovers that led to San Francisco's touchdowns in the first half.

Of course, all games have those hidden plays that can be forgotten, but end up playing a huge factor in the outcome. Here are a handful that changed the game:


Sack over Run – The Cowboys couldn't have had a better chance to tie the game in the first quarter. With a second-and-1 from the 2-yard line, it seemed a given that the Cowboys would punch it in, especially after averaging 6.6 yards a carry on that drive. But instead of giving it back to DeMarco Murray, Tony Romo appeared to check off the run and instead looked for a pass. However, Dez Bryant was covered and Romo was sacked back at the 10. On third down, his pass sailed out of the end zone and the Cowboys settled for a field goal. Less than two minutes later, they were down 14-3.

Mincey's Miss – The first touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick to Vernon Davis is probably a highlight that will be replayed several times after this game. But more than the Davis catch, don't forget how close this play was from being a sack. That's what makes Kaepernick so dangerous. He has the leg strength to get out of Jeremy Mincey's grasp and then the wherewithal to keep his eyes up and fire a dart to the wide-open Davis, who nearly dropped the pass in the end zone. [embedded_ad]

Johnson's Big Gain – The Cowboys trailed 21-3 late in the second half and needed to get off the field for a shot and maybe a momentum-swinging play. Instead, on third-and-8, the defense let Stevie Johnson get free for 21 yards, putting the 49ers in position to score again at the Cowboys' 30. Four plays later, it was 28-3 after a Carlos Hyde touchdown.

Durant's Drop – Justin Durant won't get an easier chance to catch an interception. Trailing 28-3, the Cowboys needed something – anything – to get going. The defense got some pressure on Kaepernick and forced a tipped pass in the air that should've picked off by Durant. Instead, he lost his footing and eventually dropped the ball after replay officials ruled he never had possession. The Cowboys would get possession back, but it was on their own 13 with 7:25 to go in the third. It would've been better to have the ball at midfield.

49ers' Offensive PI– This play actually went the Cowboys' way, but it was a questionable call and it helped get the final score back to a manageable figure. A 32-yard completion to Davis down to the Cowboys' 29 was wiped away with an offensive pass interference call on Brandon Lloyd. The 49ers had to punt and the Cowboys were eventually able to score and cut the lead to 11. Without that penalty, the Niners probably score again and make it even uglier than it was.

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