Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 35, 49ers 22


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Don't blame the 10 a.m. PT start for the 49ers' struggles against the Cowboys. Interim coach Mike Singletary had the 49ers ready to play and it showed early in the game.

The talent imbalance proved too much for the 49ers to overcome once Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens hit stride with a 75-yard touchdown reception early in the second quarter. That one play seemed to get Owens and the Cowboys interested in this game. And when the 49ers fell behind, their offense wasn't suited to handle the Cowboys' pass-rushers.

The 49ers' biggest disappointment against Dallas was the trouble they had establishing Frank Gore and the running game. But Vernon Davis' ongoing emergence as a receiving threat stands as a positive development.

Three of the 49ers' next four games are on the road. The team isn't going to suddenly start winning games. The little victories -- Davis emerging, for example -- will have to suffice.