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49ERS
No shortage of blame for red-zone failures
Martz, Hill, Gore all had their problems near goal line

  • Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) sacks 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill for a loss in the second quarter of Sunday's game at Dallas. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Interim head coach Mike Singletary has made it known he wants to establish the 49ers as a physical team.

Twice the 49ers advanced the ball to the Dallas 4-yard line on Sunday, and twice the 49ers turned soft. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz opened the sequence with passes. The 49ers attempted passes on four of the teams six plays from inside the 5-yard line.

I think if Mike Martz had to do it over again, hed do it . . . differently, Singletary said Monday, one day after the 49ers 35-22 loss to the Cowboys at Texas Stadium.

The 49ers went with the same pattern in both goal-to-go situations: pass, run, pass.

They settled for two field goals to take a 6-0 lead. That lead was promptly erased by the first 75 yards of Terrell Owens 213-yard explosion against his former team.

Through three quarters, the 49ers were unproductive in the red zone inside the Dallas 20-yard line. Quarterback Shaun Hill completed just 1 of 7 passing attempts for 1 yard, with one interception in the end zone.

Nothing stung quite like their failure in the first quarter to punch the ball into the end zone on back-to-back drives that petered out inside the 5-yard line.

I think there were some plays to be had down there and I think a little of it falls on all of us, Hill said. A couple of them were probably decisions on my part that could have helped us get touchdowns down there.

The 49ers rank 24th in the NFL in red-zone efficiency. They have scored touchdowns on 19 of their 39 trips (48.7 percent) inside the opponents 20. Singletary said the Cowboys switched things up Sunday. Dallas attacked from the inside and blitzed more than they have this season in those situations.

Running back Frank Gores second-down runs from the 4-yard line were stuffed for no gain and a 1-yard loss. Singletary said Gore missed some opportunities by choosing the wrong holes in the run game.

This team (was) blitzing like they were blitzing, and sometimes you try to do more than you should, Singletary said.

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