ARLINGTON, Texas – This game will be remembered for the crazy ending, what happened in the final seconds and then the ugliness that followed.
But there are always a handful of plays that can go unnoticed but still play a factor in the outcome. Here are a handful from Sunday night's game at AT&T Stadium.
Extra yards by FB Juszczyk – The Cowboys were down 7-0 and looking to get off the field on their second defensive series. With the 49ers having a third-and-16, a short pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk appeared to net just a handful of yards, but he spun inside and picked up 5 more to reach the 35-yard line. That gave the 49ers enough confidence to trot out kicker Robbie Gould, who nailed a 53-yard field goal. It's questionable if they would've attempted a 58-yard try.
Trio of mistakes on second drive – Trailing 10-0 and desperately needing to turn the tide, the Cowboys managed to wipe out a long kickoff return by Tony Pollard, thanks to a hold by Luke Gifford. The bad field position was almost erased by a CeeDee Lamb catch and run, but that was negated by a Connor Williams penalty. And on third-and-16, the Cowboys tried to run a catch-and-lateral, but Cedrick Wilson threw it way over Pollard's head and out of bounds, forcing another punt.
Holding on La'el Collins – Late in the first half, down 16-7, the Cowboys moved the ball to the 49ers' 40-yard line with a first down. But La'el Collins was called for holding on Nick Bosa, who was injured on the play. While it was a big loss for the 49ers, the 10 yards was big for Dallas, too. That pushed them back and into the sun, where Wilson then dropped a pass on third down because he couldn't see the ball. The Cowboys had to punt instead of kicking a field goal.
Block in the back on Wilson – It certainly wasn't Wilson's best day. In the third quarter, trailing 16-7, the Cowboys picked up a first down on a pass to Dalton Schultz. But Wilson was called for blocking in the back, pushing the ball back 10 yards. Three plays later, Dak Prescott tried to force the ball to Wilson, who got knocked off his route, and the pass was intercepted, leading to a touchdown moments later.
Defensive holding on Gregory – Obviously, the officials made an emphasis on calling defensive holding on the linemen, with two calls late in the game. But the biggest one occurred when Randy Gregory was flagged for defensive holding. It was about to be third-and-9 with 1:31 to play and the Cowboys still had one timeout. Instead, the 49ers got a first down and were able to bleed the clock down until the Cowboys took over with 32 seconds left.