49ers hold off late push to eliminate Cowboys

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Elijah Mitchell rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown as the San Francisco 49ers defense overcame the loss of star winger Nick Bosa to hold the Dallas Cowboys in check in a 23-17 victory Sunday at the round of the NFC Wildcards in Arlington, Texas.

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Jimmy Garoppolo threw 16 of 25 for 172 yards with an interception for the 49ers, who travel to top-seeded Green Bay next weekend for the NFC Semifinals. Deebo Samuel added 110 yards from scrimmage, 72 rushing, with a touchdown.

Samuel’s 26-yard run, one play after Dak Prescott was intercepted by K’Waun Williams, gave San Francisco a 23-7 advantage with 5:50 left in the third quarter.

Greg Zuerlein’s 51-yard field goal and Prescott’s 5-yard touchdown brought the Cowboys within six points with 8:02 left. But Dallas’ last chance ended when Prescott ran 17 yards down the middle to the 49ers 24-yard line and couldn’t snap the ball to stop the clock before time ran out. Dallas had no more time outs.

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Bosa (concussion) didn’t play in the second half, but sixth-seeded San Francisco still held third-seeded Dallas to 307 total yards and sacked Prescott five times. Prescott completed just 23 of 43 passes for 254 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

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Dallas hurt its cause with 14 penalties for 89 yards. Four of them gave the 49ers first downs.

San Francisco kicked the scoring on the game’s first possession, going for 75 yards on just seven plays. Mitchell entered the end zone from 4 on a throw sweep, cutting just inside the right front pylon at 10:54.

Gould increased the lead to 10-0 on the 49ers’ second drive, drilling for a 53-yard field goal with 4:56 left. He connected from 40 yards out with 9:44 left in the first half, capping a nearly eight-minute drive to make it 13-0.

Dallas finally got some traction on the next possession, rushing for 67 yards on nine plays to get on the board. Prescott joined Amari Cooper for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 5:24 on the clock to cut the deficit to 13-7.

Gould sent San Francisco into the locker room with a 16-7 lead after converting from 52 yards with 3:08 left.

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