Instant Review: Staff Writers Give Quick Analysis After 24-17 Win

SANTA CLARA, Calif– Down by 14 points in the second quarter, the Cowboys found a way to win their third straight game, rallying past the 49ers, 24-17 at Levi's Stadium.

On Friday, the staff writers gave their gut feeling for Sunday's game. Check out the instant reactions from the staff of

David Helman: If that was Dak Prescott's worst game, then the Cowboys will gladly sign up for more like it. I thought the 49ers were going to make Dak look like a rookie on Sunday afternoon, and I could not have been more wrong about that. It was the Dallas rushing game that carried the day in this win, but it was Dak's leadership and composure – not to mention a mistake-free 245 passing yards and two touchdowns – that tied everything together. The Cowboys rolled over a talented San Francisco defense, and their own defense buckled down and held the 49ers to three points after a slow start saw them fall into a 14-0 hole in just 16 minutes of play. I thought Dan Bailey and the special teams were going to carry this team to a win – but it turned out the offense and defense were just fine, while Bailey actually missed from 47 yards. I said on Friday that I thought the Cowboys would grind out an ugly win at Levi's Stadium. They got the win – but the process was far prettier than I thought it'd be.

Nick Eatman:I don't think I could've been more off with this pick. I apologize, although I'm sure most of the people reading this are just fine with my awful prediction. Honestly though, I don't feel bad about picking the Cowboys to lose this game. When have they showed us that they could win with some many key players sitting out? But they proved us wrong, or at least me. But now I know. Now, I know what this team can be made out of. Dak Prescott just continues to amaze me with his ability to stay poised, despite getting down early 14-0. He just never seems to get rattled and that's probably the best quality you can have for a starting quarterback, especially a rookie. All of the other predictions were wrong, so let's not go through them. I have a lot more confidence in both this offense and defense, especially the way it buckled down in the second half.


Rob Phillips: I expected the Cowboys to win a close game based on a couple of factors: the defense's ability to contain 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, and Dak Prescott's ability to play well beyond his years. Once again Prescott showed poise, this time without Dez Bryant and two starting offensive linemen -- and the best example was his hurry-up touchdown drive at the end of the first half when he completed 8 of 10 passes, including the TD throw to Brice Butler. Most importantly, Prescott has made four straight starts without a turnover. Hyde finished with 74 yards on 15 carries, but it was 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert's runs that present problems early. The defense settled down, got adjusted to the pace of Chip Kelly's offense, and held San Francisco to three points after the early moments of the second quarter.

Bryan Broaddus:I'm happy that I got the right team winning the game but not happy that I thought that Dak Prescott would struggle. With all that this offense had to deal with without Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith and to function they way they did says a lot about this group. I was concerned that the 49ers would have put Prescott in some tough situations down and distance wise but they were never able to rattle him. What was most surprising is that even with the club being down 14 points, they were able to stick with the game plan and fight their way back. Prescott was brilliant as was this offensive line, Ezekiel Elliott and Scott Linehan. It was a well-deserved victory against an opponent that has played well at home.

For the initial gut feeling predictions of the staff writers posted on Friday, click here.

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