The 49ers made a conscious effort to take away Cole Beasley. They did for 58 minutes, 15 seconds, limiting him to two catches for 19 yards.
“I was telling Beas all game they were trying to take him out of the game plan with their defense, how they were playing,” receiver Brice Butler said.
With the Cowboys holding a 7-point lead, and the 49ers down to one timeout, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan called a receiver screen to Beasley.
“When Dak [Prescott] raised up and he hit Beasley on the second down, [Jason Garrett] is playing to win,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said of his coach. “That says as much as I could possibly say about his approach to this team, and what he’s doing with this team. That was a play-to-win play.”
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Beasley took it 47 yards to the San Francisco 24, icing the game. The 49ers used their final timeout, and Prescott took a knee three times to run out the clock.
“I love it, man,” Beasley said. “It shows how much trust they have in me and they have that much confidence in me, so it’s always a good feeling. You always want to be a guy they can trust the ball in your hands and you want to be a guy they feel like they can go to in crunch time and I’m just glad they gave me the opportunity, and the guys did a heck of a job blocking. [Jason Witten] made that play, if it wasn’t for Wit leading the way, it wouldn’t have even happened.”
Beasley knew what had to be done once he had the first down. Scoring a touchdown wasn’t as important as staying in bounds and holding onto the ball.
“Once I broke free, I was thinking get down,” he said. “I kind of went in cruise control to make sure I could hold onto the ball and stay in bounds. We already have the win, just about the team then.”