49ers

Smith, Westbrook help 49ers beat Cards in finale

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Smith, Westbrook help 49ers beat Cards in finale

Jan. 2, 201149ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOBOX SCORE NFL SCOREBOARDSAN FRANCISCO (AP) In his likely last hurrah for San Francisco, Alex Smith made his case for a starting job elsewhere.Smith threw a 59-yard touchdown passto Vernon Davis in what likely was the quarterback's final game withthe 49ers, and San Francisco beat Arizona 38-7 on Sunday in a matchupfor last place in the awful NFC West.Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draftpick who becomes a free agent, passed for 276 yards and two TDs overalland the Niners (6-10) made interim coach Jim Tomsula a winner in whatwill probably be his only game coaching the team. Tomsula was promotedfrom his defensive line duties after Mike Singletary was firedfollowing a loss last week.Larry Fitzgerald had a 10-yard TDreception from John Skelton among his 11 catches for Arizona (5-11),which failed to win back-to-back games all year.Brian Westbrook had a pair of 6-yard TD runs in the third quarter for San Francisco.The game affected both teams' top-10 picks in April's draft - exact positioning still to be determined.The teams went 1-2 in the division ayear ago and had high hopes entering 2010, with the 49ers favored towin the West. Instead, they began 0-5 and couldn't produce thefranchise's first winning season since its last trip to the postseasonin 2002.Davis finished the year with seven TDreceptions, six fewer than a year ago when he tied Antonio Gates'record by a tight end with 13. Tarell Brown added a late 62-yardinterception return for a touchdown in San Francisco's second-highestscoring output of the season.Westbrook - clobbered on anaround-the-neck tackle by safety Adrian Wilson late in the first half -had his second big game of the year against the Cardinals. He ran for136 yards and a score in a 27-6 Monday night victory on Nov. 29 afterFrank Gore went down with a season-ending fractured right hip. OnSunday, Westbrook became the only active player and one of four overallwith 40 career rushing touchdowns and 30 TDs receiving.Smith hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a 37-yardtouchdown pass to the right corner of the end zone to put San Franciscoahead 7-0 late in the first quarter.Smith was sacked times in hisprevious start, a 34-7 loss at San Diego on Dec. 16. Singletary turnedback to Troy Smith in last Sunday's loss at St. Louis, then Tomsulanamed Alex Smith his starter for the season finale.Alex Smith completed his first sixpasses before throwing an incompletion late in the first quarter totackle Adam Snyder, who reported eligible.The Niners were 1-for-7 on thirddowns in the first half and Smith was sacked twice but San Franciscoput together a solid second half for a commanding victory - though notmany fans stuck around to see it. It was a dismal crowd at CandlestickPark on a cool, overcast afternoon after heavy rain fell over night.The 49ers won their fourth straightin the series despite Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt being determinedto finish strong and make a statement after the embarrassment on MondayNight Football in late November. Arizona managed only eight first downsin that game, getting 11 rushes for 13 yards.The 49ers are set to make changes.Club president Jed York plans to hire a general manager soon, then havethat person pick the new coach. San Francisco will surely make a run atStanford's Jim Harbaugh after his team plays in the Orange Bowl onMonday night.San Francisco's defense missedfour-time Pro Bowl inside linebacker Patrick Willis, who sat out anddidn't start for the first time in his career. Willis underwent asecond surgical procedure on his broken right hand early last week.

Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before anthem, stand arm-in-arm during it

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AP

Jerry Jones, Cowboys kneel before anthem, stand arm-in-arm during it

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, so the speculation was that he would not allow his players to kneel during the national anthem.

The Cowboys and their owner did kneel, though not during the anthem.

Following a weekend of kneeling and protesting across the NFL, the Cowboys and their owner displayed their own version of unity Monday night, kneeling on the field before rising as a group prior to the playing of the national anthem.

"I hope that I'm clear and I hope that our team is clear: We want to respect the flag. Make no mistake about that," Jones said.

"Nothing that we've done, nothing that we did tonight says anything other than that. We also want to as a complete team, as players and an organization, be able to, whenever we can, demonstrate that unity is important and equality is important.

"That's what I'm so proud of these guys for, they did both and did it in a way when people really stop and think about it, makes a lot of sense."

The Cowboys sat and watched the protests across the NFL on Sunday and spent most of Monday discussing the best way to show unity without denigrating the flag.

After warmups Monday night, they went into the locker room and returned to the field for the anthem, lining up between the sideline and the yard markers on the field.

Arm-in-arm, they dropped to a knee as a giant flag was carried onto the field, with Jones and his family in the middle near the 50-yard line.

Numerous boos rang out across University of Phoenix Stadium as the Cowboys kneeled and continued as the players rose, still arm-in-arm, and stepped back to the sideline as the flag was unfurled across the field. They remained connected as Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem.

"The objectives, as much as anything else, was to somehow, some way demonstrate unity and demonstrate equality, and do so without any way involving the American flag and the national anthem," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.

The Arizona Cardinals had their own symbol of unity after a weekend of protests in the NFL, gathering along the goal line arm-in-arm during the national anthem. They were joined by owner Michael Bidwell, his family and general manager Steve Keim.

More than 200 NFL players kneeled, sat or prayed during the national anthem on Sunday after President Trump said any player who does not stand for the national anthem should be fired.

Three teams did not take the field for the national anthem and numerous NFL owners came out against Trump's statements.

49ers place Tank Carradine on injured reserve

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AP

49ers place Tank Carradine on injured reserve

The 49ers signed LB Mark Nzeocha from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad to a one-year deal, the team announced.

In order to make room on the roster, the team has placed DL Tank Carradine on the Injured Reserve List.

Nzeocha (6-3, 240) was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round (236th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Over the past two seasons (2015-16), he appeared in eight games and registered four tackles. He was waived by the Cowboys on September 3, 2017 and signed to the team’s practice squad on September 5.

A 27-year-old native of Ansbach, Bavaria in Germany, Nzeocha attended the University of Wyoming. He appeared in 39 games (26 starts) and finished his career with 207 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception.

Nzeocha will wear number 46.

Carradine (6-4, 270) appeared in each of the team’s first three games this season (two starts), where he registered seven tackles and one sack.

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