Cowboys vs 49ers Wild Card game: history, key players, projection

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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10-7. 42. Sunday, Jan 16. Cowboys -3. 4:30 PM ET. CBS. 12-5. 123

Now the real fun starts! It doesn’t matter what happened in the regular season and whether it was good or bad. That’s all out the window now. The Dallas Cowboys are in the dance. Welcome to the playoffs, baby! Buckle up on this one. It’s a bit longer than normal, but it’s the playoffs. I’ll tell you right now: I am throwing the kitchen sink into this to get you prepared for Sunday in every way imaginable.

Finishing 12-5 was good enough to win the NFC East, secure a first-round home playoff game, and climb up to the No. 3 seed in the NFC thanks to a little help. All of that culminates with welcoming the San Francisco 49ers, another historic franchise, to town this Sunday on Super Wild Card Weekend.

Cowboys. 49ers. NFL Playoffs. It doesn’t get much more awesome than this. It’s a fun matchup. AT&T Stadium will be a “white-out” with the fans. Let’s get into our matchup history, some players that can become postseason legends, and talk about a gut projection. I’m jacked up for this one and very eager to chat it up with you all in the comments!

Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys
Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys /

Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by James Smith/Getty Images)

Cowboys vs 49ers Matchup History

All-Time Record: 19-17-1 (5-2 postseason), both in favor of the Cowboys

Most Recent Result: Dallas Cowboys 41, San Francisco 49ers 33 on December 20, 2020

I don’t think you can have much more history in a playoff matchup than this one brings. These two teams have met in seven post-season games. Look at the 1970s and these teams saw each other three years straight in the playoffs from 1970-72.

Move on to the 1980s and we have the infamous pass from Joe Montana to Dwight Clark for “The Catch” for one of the most memorable highlights in NFL history.

Or look at the 1990s and these two teams were the top dogs. The Cowboys and 49ers met in three straight NFC Championship games from 1992-94. The Cowboys took the first two with the 49ers snatching the third matchup. This decade cemented each of these teams as dynasties.

Fast forward 20+ years and we arrive at today. The rivalry stalled out for a while due to each team’s inconsistency to make the playoffs like they used to. That freeze ends this Sunday with the teams drawing each other in the Wild Card game.

With the history, the aura, and all that comes with this matchup, the stage is set for someone to cement a spot in Cowboys-49ers lore with the likes of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Joe Montana, and Jerry Rice. Someone is going to have a chance to etch themselves into NFL history.

Although these teams met last year, this matchup is drastically different. Last year saw the Andy Dalton-led Cowboys beat the Nick Mullens-led 49ers. Now we have Dak Prescott and Jimmy Garoppolo commanding the offenses. Last year saw the two teams leave the matchup at 5-9 each. This year the teams are 12-5 and 10-7, respectively.

This playoff matchup checks all the boxes. It has history. It has star power. It has tradition. It has big-name quarterbacks. It is going to be a fun one.