49ers game grades from hard-nosed Wild Card victory over Cowboys

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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49ers, Charles Omenihu
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Charles Omenihu (92) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers defensive grades vs. Cowboys

San Francisco entered this game with a suspect secondary but a full bill of health against a vaunted offensive attack.

The team left it with some injury scares but a quality game on its hands.

Defensive Line: A+

The 49ers defensive line got home when Nick Bosa was in the game, with him even earning a sack on a fantastic stunt. But after he was ruled out for the game with a concussion, the 49ers were at risk of losing the defensive trenches.

That did not happen.

The 49ers finished with five sacks and a whopping 22 pressures, according to Next Gen Stats:

Reserve defensive end Charles Omenihu had his best game as a 49er, finishing with two sacks in a fantastic display. This group also held a strong Dallas rushing attack to only 77 yards on the ground.

When the Niners needed their defensive line to show up, it showed up.

Linebackers: B+

The 49ers linebackers had a solid if not spectacular game, with only one real glaring issue being the missed tackle Fred Warner had against Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot near the first half.

Read More: 5 reasons why 49ers defeated Cowboys in Wild Card round

However, this unit filled the run gaps exceptionally well and played the pass well.

Warner’s ankle injury late in the game looked extremely scary, and luckily it doesn’t seem too serious.

Secondary: B+

The Niners secondary had an unfortunate final 30 seconds, which fell equally on coaching as it did on the players themselves. But for the rest of the game, the much-maligned group put on a fantastic performance against a Cowboys offense designed to attack it.

The safeties cleaned up plays, and minus a couple miscues, coverage was spectacular.

Special attention should go to cornerback Ambry Thomas, whose career ascent in a matter of weeks has been spectacular. In the very few times he was targeted, his coverage was on point. And he was a big reason why Dallas’ No. 1 wide receiver, CeeDee Lamb, was limited to just one catch for 21 yards.