Follow The FAN: Facebook | Twitter

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (105.3 THE FAN) – The Cowboys exited Levi’s Stadium on Sunday night with a trio of questionable areas … and one of the trio offering a hopeful answer with … well, another trio.

READ MORE: Little Elm High Students Back In School For 1st Time Since Walkout Got Out Of Hand 10 Days Ago

The Cowboys’ 23-6 preseason loss to the 49ers is yet another “meaningless” signpost on this season’s journey, and that certainly applies to a rag-tag special-teams performance. But some of these special-teamers won’t be here in three weeks, and the units will be constructed differently.

Quarterback? No. 2 guy Brandon Weeden was lackluster before sustaining a concussion. No. 3 guy Dustin Vaughan was probably inferior to UDFA rookie Jameill Showers. But Tony Romo started, made a cameo and survived.

And that’s all that really matters in this position group.

Ah, but running back. Do the Cowboys have three good ones? Two? One? None?

COO Stephen Jones made clear his hopes for Darren McFadden on the CBS11 pregame show.

“We do have high expectations for Darren,” said Jones. “That’s why we brought him in here. We know certainly he’s a big play guy. He has some homerun speed, and we know if we give him some running lanes, then I think he can take advantage of them.”

READ MORE: Lincoln Riley Leaves OU For USC, Bob Stoops Returning As Interim Head Coach For Bowl Game

McFadden got the start but behind a makeshift line carried just three times for four yards.

“I was going out there with the mindset that I was playing a full game,” said the new veteran McFadden “That’s the way I approach it.”

But that’s not needed because Joe Randle remains the top guy, and here did see more action than McFadden as he carried seven times for 30 yards behind the second-team line.

Lance Dunbar saw his first action of the preseason and caught a pair of passes.

There are definitely answers coming on special teams; heck, Dan Bailey actually missed a field goal, a sign on non-regular-season-dom. There might not be answers behind Romo at QB; that’s sort of the way the NFL works now.

But running back? This is more in limbo, more debatable, more “hoping for answers” rather than “knowing” there either are (special teams) or are not (backup QB) grand solutions.

DeMarco Murray requires an heir. Or two. Or three. The Cowboys would like some progress to resolving the debate … So they can put the doubts — and this crummy outing by the Bay — behind them.

MORE NEWS: 16 Units Damaged In 3-Alarm Apartment Fire In Fort Worth

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)