Gould, Purdy lead 49ers over Dallas in NFC playoff defensive slugfest

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SANTA CLARA — Robbie Gould connected on 26, 29, 47 and 50 yards field goals and Christian McCaffrey scored on a 2-yard run to lift San Francisco to a 19-12 win over Dallas on Sunday to advance to a showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game.

While there were plenty of offensive stars on both sides of the ball, it was the defenses that dominated the game.

San Francisco intercepted Dallas quarterback Zach Prescott twice. Deommodore Lenoir picked up a pass on the Dallas 27 in the first quarter that set up Gould’s first field goal. Then Fred Warner picked up a pass with less than 2 minutes left in the half to set up Gould’s third kick.

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Meanwhile, the Cowboy 49ers defensemen challenged rookie quarterback Brock Purdy to play all night.

Purdy continued to play well past his senior years, winning his seventh game in a row since becoming a starter. He completed 19-of-29 for 214 yards and made several key throws to tight end George Kittle, who caught 5 catches for 95 yards.

After missing his 5th extra point of the postseason, Dallas’ Brett Maher made amends by converting a 25-yard field goal to pull Dallas to a 9–9 tie in the third quarter.

The 49ers then put together their best drive of the day, marching 74 yards in 9 plays to score on a 2-yard McCaffrey diving play on the first play of the fourth quarter. The ride was fueled by a juggling Kittle catch.

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Dallas fought back to close to 16-12 on a Maher 32-yard field goal with 11:08 left in the game,

The first half was a defensive slugfest and the story of two kickers.

The 49ers’ running game could only muster 27 rushing yards in the half and was only slightly bettered by the Cowboys rolling up 64 yards.

Prescott completed 12 of 16 pass attempts for 81 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. Purdy was 12-of-19 for 129 yards.

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Gould accounted for all 49ers points, scoring field goals from 29, 47, and 50 yards to give San Francisco a 9–6 halftime lead.

Meanwhile, Maher’s extra point was blocked after Prescott capped off a 14-play, 79-yard drive with a scoring 4-yard pass to Dalton Schultz at 7:47 of the second quarter to give the Cowboys a 6–3 lead.

It was the only extended drive either team could manage in the first half.

Dallas’ staggering offense took another hit just before halftime as the Cowboys lost the star that returned Tony Pollard to an injured.

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