The Dallas Cowboys came into this showdown having put points on the board on their first possession in each of their first three games. They also hadn't allowed a touchdown on their opponent's first possession since the 2014 season.
So when Dan Bailey missed a 47-yard field goal on the team's first drive, which was followed by 33-yard touchdown pass on the San Francisco 49ers' opening series, well, it appeared the Cowboys might be in for a long day.
But check another box off for the rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, who led the Cowboys back from a 14-0 second-quarter deficit to defeat the 49ers, 24-17.
Prescott was again outstanding, finishing the day with 245 yards off of 23-of-32 passing with two touchdowns and, more importantly, no interceptions. For his part, Elliott topped the century mark for the second consecutive week, rushing for 138 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Overall, Dallas rushed for 194 yards, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. They put up 428 total yards to just 295 for San Francisco and again dominated the time-of-possession battle, 36:27 to 23:33.
It was the second quarter where Prescott really shined. After San Francisco went up by two touchdowns early in the frame, the rookie finally got the offense moving with just under seven minutes remaining before the half. However, it was Elliott who did most of the dirty work, as he rushed four times for 25 yards and also hauled in a pass for 19 more. That drive ended with Prescott finding Terrance Williams on the right side of the end zone to finally get Dallas on the board.
[embeddedad0]Then after the Cowboys defense forced a three-and-out, Prescott and company ran the two-minute offense to perfection. Taking over with 1:50 remaining, the quarterback connected on 8-of-10 passes, the final one a pretty throw to Brice Butler in the left corner of the end zone from 4 yards out to even things up 14-14, at the break.
In the second half, it was Elliott who kept the train rolling. After San Francisco went back on top with a 36-yard field goal, Dallas later went on a 10-play 78-yard drive that saw the running back rush seven times for 50 yards, busting loose for gains of 23 and 17 yards. He then capped off the drive with a 1-yard plunge that gave the Cowboys their first lead of the day, 21-17.
But although he'd already passed the 100-yard mark, Elliott wasn't done. A nice interception by Morris Claiborne, his first since the 2014 campaign, set Dallas up at its own 34-yard line. The rookie rusher then got things going with a 26-yard gain, his longest of the season. The drive eventually reached the 49ers' 1-yard line before the team had to settle for a chip-shot 22-yard field goal from Bailey, the Cowboys pushing their advantage to seven with just more than 4 minutes left to play.
And the Dallas defense was up to the task. The 49ers converted each of their first seven third-down chances in the game, but on their final five third-down opportunities, they were only able to move the chains once. And when Claiborne came up to stop Torrey Smith just short of the marker on fourth-and-6, the Cowboys had their victory.
With the win, Dallas moves to 3-1 on the season and into at least a tie for second place in the NFC East. They'll now return home to face the Cincinnati Bengals at 3:25 p.m. next Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
View some of our favorite photos from the Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.