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Slowing Kaepernick on ground a must too

IRVING, Texas – Frank Gore isn’t the only part of the San Francisco 49ers running game the Dallas Cowboys defense will have to stop Sunday.

Perhaps a more formidable challenge will be quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“He runs like a gazelle,” said defensive end Jeremy Mincey.

Gore is more like a hammer. Kaepernick can break the game open with long runs. He had 524 yards rushing last season. He is the closest thing to Michael Vick as a running quarterback.

“It’s tough because he can turn nothing into something at any given moment,” safety Barry Church said. “You feel like you’ve got everything locked up and he goes around the edge for 15 yards or scrambles and makes a play throwing down the field because you can only guard a receiver for so long without getting a penalty. He brings an added element to the game that we haven’t faced for a long time.”

It will help the Cowboys that they have faced Vick recently while he was the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Gap discipline was not one of this defense’s strengths in the preseason, but it is even more important with Kaepernick. If he is able to get the edge, he can be in the secondary in a hurry.

“If you give him lanes or you give him an opportunity to break contain, he can make huge plays with his feet,” coach Jason Garrett said. “There’s a point where he’s just running by people. So much of what they’ve been able to accomplish offensively comes from his ability to throw it, his ability to make plays with his feet when things break down. He’s a big part of what they do. They have a big, strong offensive line, they have a great runner, and they have a dynamic, playmaking quarterback. The challenges are there. They’re all over the tape.”

Said linebacker Justin Durant, “We have to be disciplined in everything we do.”