Sunday, December 20, 2020, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 1 p.m. ET
49ers at Cowboys Betting Preview: 49ers (-3/-110), Cowboys (+3/-110)
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers (5-8) have lost two in a row to fall to the brink of playoff elimination in the NFC on the eve of their trip to Dallas on Sunday to face the Cowboys (4-9). San Francisco is coming off a 23-15 neutral-site loss to Washington, its second defeat in three outings against NFC East teams this season.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan admitted after the Washington game that he would consider changing quarterbacks this week, but nipped that idea in the bud on Wednesday when he announced that struggling Nick Mullens would remain the starter. Shanahan also considered C.J. Beathard, who has served as the chief backup ever since regular starter Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury in Week 8.
One change Shanahan apparently will be forced into making this week is promoting Jeff Wilson Jr. to the starting running back position in place of Raheem Mostert, who injured his ankle in the Washington game. Wilson shares the team lead in rushing touchdowns this season with five despite having gotten fewer carries (68) than Mostert (90) and Jerick McKinnon (80).
The Cowboys (4-9) remain in the thick of the NFC East title chase despite residing in last place in the division with just three games remaining, including this week’s visit from the San Francisco 49ers (5-8). Last week’s 30-7 romp at Cincinnati kept Dallas’ playoff hopes alive, but it likely would need to sweep its last three games, including division matchups with Philadelphia in Week 16 and the New York Giants in Week 17
Ezekiel Elliott continued his late-season funk in the win over the Bengals, rushing for just 48 yards on 12 carries. He has totaled just 157 rushing yards in Dallas’ last three games. Elliott, who has been dealing with a calf issue, ranks seventh in the NFL in rushing this season with 832 yards after finishing fourth last season with 1,357 yards.
Andy Dalton had his first interception-free start of the season against Cincinnati, going 16-for-23 for 185 and two touchdowns. The veteran has settled into his starting role since the gruesome Dak Prescott injury, recording eight touchdown passes and three interceptions in his last four games, after just one TD and three interceptions in his first two starts.
49ers at Cowboys Betting Pick for Week 15
Two things have been disappointing for the 49ers in the last two weeks. First off, they lost a pair of games in which they were favored. Equally important, they’ve continued to lose key players, with wideout Deebo Samuel (hamstring) now out for the season and Mostert (ankle) unlikely to play this week.
The 49ers are favored again this week, which is just an indication those who set the line believe fans haven’t been paying attention to the state of their depleted roster. In a battle of backup quarterbacks, big edge to Dalton.
49ers at Cowboys Betting Pick:
Cowboys 29, 49ers 17
49ers at Cowboys Best Bet for Week 15
Some outlets are offering the Cowboys as a +140 proposition to win this game, and that seems more than generous for a matchup that, at worst, is a toss-up. Last week’s mistake-laden loss to Washington demonstrated once again that San Francisco, in its current state, might be the most overrated team in the league. This week’s line provides further proof.
49ers at Cowboys Best Bet: Cowboys to win (+140)