SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ streak of consecutive close losses came to an end on Sunday.
No, the 49ers did not pick up their first victory of the season. Rather, the Dallas Cowboys blew out the hapless 49ers on Dwight Clark Day at Levi’s Stadium.
After their NFL-record streak of five straight defeats by three points or fewer, the 49ers were dealt an embarrassing 40-10 loss to drop their record under first-year coach Kyle Shanahan to 0-7.
It was the worst loss in the four-season history of Levi’s Stadium. The previous-worst defeat for the 49ers since the move from Candlestick Park was a 41-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints last season. The 49ers have lost 10 consecutive home games over the past two seasons.
The 49ers and Cleveland Browns, also 0-7, are the only winless teams remaining in the league.
The poor showing – and inability to slow down Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott – put a damper on a festive day for the 49ers, as Clark was recognized for his contributions to the dynasty of the 1980s.
Clark, whose leaping 6-yard touchdown catch in the NFC Championship game against the Cowboys, catapulted the 49ers to their first Super Bowl. Now 60, Clark is battling ALS. He delivered remarks to his former teammates and the crowd during a halftime ceremony.
But when the second half opened, Elliott had a 72-yard touchdown reception from Dak Prescott to give Dallas a 27-3 lead. Elliott had a big day against the 49ers, as he also rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 26 rushing attempts.
The Cowboys did not need much of an opening, but they took advantage of some critical 49ers miscues in the first quarter.
After the 49ers’ defense forced a three-and-out on the opening drive with DeForest Buckner swatting down two passes at the line of scrimmage, rookie Trent Taylor gave it right back when he fumbled a punt.
The Cowboys took over and drove 20 yards on three plays with Elliott scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run.
On Dallas’ next possession, 49ers cornerback Rashard Robinson surrendered 17 yards on a pass-interference penalty. Then, Robinson’s illegal contract penalty nullified a 15-yard loss for intentional grounding.
Elliott, again, wasted little time as he scored on a 25-yard touchdown to give the Cowboys a 14-0 lead with 7:57 remaining in the first quarter.
BEATHARD’S FIRST START
Rookie C.J. Beathard was beat up in his first NFL start after taking over for struggling veteran Brian Hoyer last week.
Beathard, a third-round draft pick from Iowa, completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Beathard also rushed five times for 30 yards and touchdown.
But Beathard was under constant harassment, as he was also sacked five times for minus-48 yards and lost two fumbles.
Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster started as he made his first appearance since the opening game of the season, when he sustained a high right ankle sprain. But Foster exited in the third quarter with a ribs injury to his right side.
Foster recorded five tackles, including one for a loss, in his most extensive playing time of the season.
Right tackle Trent Brown left the game in the second half and was diagnosed with a concussion. Brown was pass through the NFL’s concussion protocol in order to be cleared for the 49ers’ game next Sunday at the Philadelphia Eagles.
THIS ‘N’ THAT
--Fullback Kyle Juszczyk (back) and pass-rusher Aaron Lynch (calf) were among the 49ers’ seven inactive players.
--Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who came into the game with a league-leading 8.5 sacks, moved to the other side of the line and beat left tackle Joe Staley for a sack-strip to thwart a 49ers scoring chance late in the first half.