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 team?s six plays from inside the 5-yard line.
?I think if Mike Martz had to do it over again, he?d 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 Gore?s 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.
Singletary is the only coach on the staff who is not signed beyond this season. But when he discusses the future of the 49ers, he speaks like a man who figures to be in his current role for a long time.
?That?s my approach about everything I do in life,? Singletary said. ?I don?t ever look at things in a finite manner. Everything I do, I do it until someone says ?that?s enough,? or until my body or my mind ? or my wife ? says ?that?s enough.? That?s my mentality ? always has been, and that?s just the way that I?m wired up.?
One great thing about Singletary is that he does not sugarcoat his feelings. He is a big supporter of rookie guard Chilo Rachal, who received his first career start on Sunday. But Singletary wasn?t about to cut him any slack when it came time to assess his performance.
?He did not play well,? Singletary said. ?He played like a rookie, OK? He did not play well.?
But Rachal, the No. 39 overall pick in the April draft, will hold onto the starting job ahead of veteran Tony Wragge on Sunday when the 49ers travel to play the Buffalo Bills.