Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers preview for Super Wild Card Weekend

Trysten Hill, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Trysten Hill, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Deion Sanders, Dallas Cowboys
Deion Sanders, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

123. 10-7. 42. Sunday, Jan 16. 12-5. Cowboys -3.0. 4:30 PM ET. CBS

After a hard-fought 17-game season, the Dallas Cowboys are preparing for the playoffs

To some, the regular season does not matter. But, there is no denying that you must play well in the regular season to qualify for the playoffs. The Dallas Cowboys achieved that and will play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Wild Card Weekend at 4:30 pm ET on Sunday.

It was a rocky season, even though the Cowboys’ 12-5 record doesn’t make it seem like it was. Regardless, Dallas is playoff-bound for the first time since 2018 and playing a very familiar opponent.

Cowboys and 49ers Quick Season Recap

The Cowboys finished the 2021 season with the top offense in the NFL, placing top-five in all the major statistics. After a disastrous 2020 defensive performance, new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn turned the group into a high-flying unit, leading the league in takeaways.

The 49ers have been an entertaining team led by their explosive offense. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel made huge improvements this season. However, San Francisco’s defense has been disappointing, giving up a lot more yards and points than they would like.

The 49ers don’t have a scary roster, so the edge goes to the Cowboys in this matchup. San Fran’s offense was held to fewer than 20 points five times this season and eclipsed 30 points five times. They also have at least one turnover in all seven of their losses and at least two turnovers in six of them.

Head-to-head, the teams are closer than you may think. The Cowboys have a more consistent offense, but the 49ers can keep up if Dallas’ defense lets them. The main difference between them is you don’t know which 49ers team will show up and if Dallas can force takeaways.

Recent History Between Cowboys and 49ers

The Cowboys and 49ers were an entertaining rivalry to watch during the ’90s. Hall of Fame quarterbacks Steve Young and Troy Aikman led their teams during this era. Dallas won that decade with three Super Bowl rings compared to San Fran’s one.

The two franchises shared a handful of Hall of Fame stars. Among them are Terrell Owens, Deion Sanders, and Charles Haley. I guess those guys liked Dallas more since all three left the 49ers to play for the Cowboys. T.O. just made a pit stop in Philadelphia in between.

Dallas owns a winning record against their former rival as of late, winning six of their last seven matchups. The most recent was a 41-33 Cowboys win in 2020. Both teams were playing shorthanded with injuries up and down their lineups.