ARLINGTON, Texas (KXAN) — Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott missed the first game of his NFL career due to injury. Second-string back Tony Pollard delivered in his place with two touchdowns to propel the Cowboys to a 41-33 win against San Francisco Sunday.
The Cowboys (5-9) are still in the hunt for the playoffs just a game off the NFC East division lead with two games remaining in the season.
Pollard scored the Cowboys’ first touchdown of the game and the deciding score late in the fourth quarter, pushing a field goal advantage to a two-score lead at 34-24. Pollard broke through the San Francisco defense, running for 40 yards on the fourth quarter touchdown with 2:27 remaining.
After 49ers kicker Robbie Gould hit a 31-yard field goal to get within 34-27, Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb returned the attempted onside kick 47 yards for a touchdown and a 41-27 lead.
Kendrick Bourne scored on the final play of the game on a 49-yard pass play from C.J. Beathard for a meaningless touchdown and a 41-33 final score.
Dallas marched out to a 14-0 first quarter lead with a short rushing touchdown by Pollard and a three-yard touchdown reception from Michael Gallup. Receiver Brandon Aiyuk cut the Cowboys lead to 17-14 on a two-yard reception from Nick Mullens with five minutes left in the first half.
The Cowboys never trailed Sunday afternoon at home. San Francisco tied the game on a field goal in the third quarter. Andy Dalton took Dallas down the field on the next possession, throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz for a 24-17 lead.
Pollard tallied 132 total yards. Dalton completed 19 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers committed three turnovers, which Dallas converted into 17 points.
The Cowboys finish the regular season with two games against division rivals, hosting Philadelphia next week and closing the season at the New York Giants. Dallas must win out to keep hope alive of reaching the postseason.