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Martz, Hill, Gore all had their problems near goal line

  • Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) sacks San Francisco quarterback Shaun Hill (13) for a loss of nine yards in the second quarter during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008, in Irving, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

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.


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