49ers signing former Cowboys cornerback adds more intrigue to Week 5 showdown

The Cowboys-49ers rivalry just got more interesting.
Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Stop us if you've heard this before since 2021, but the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers seemingly are on a collision course to meet in the playoffs. That'll depend on where the Cowboys finish in the NFC East, but through two weeks Dallas and the 49ers look like the best two teams in football.

The Cowboys' +60 point differential is by far the best in the league, but the 49ers' +30 point differential is nothing to sneeze at. Only one other team besides Dallas and San Francisco have a differential greater than +20.

Brock Purdy hasn't skipped a beat coming off elbow surgery, while Christian McCaffrey is arguably the best RB in the game (even more so after Nick Chubb's devastating injury) and the defense has been as advertised even after a wonky Week 2 showing against the rams.

Regardless, nobody in Dallas is sleeping on the 49ers after the last two playoffs. The Week 5 showdown on Sunday Night Football has game-of-the-year written all over it, and another layer of intrigue was added after San Francisco signed former longtime Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown to the 53-man roster.

49ers sign former Cowboys CB Anthony Brown before Week 5 matchup

Rivalry with the 49ers aside, it's great to see Brown land on his feet.

The former sixth-round pick suffered a torn Achilles in Week 13 last season. Often the face of criticism among Cowboys fans, the secondary struggled in Brown's absence -- especially with Jourdan Lewis already out for the year -- as Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright were thrust into prominent roles.

Ultimately, this is a sneaky-good pickup by the 49ers. Brown had four interceptions and 12 passes defended in 2021, which was his last full season. He logged a respectable 69.0 coverage grade, per Pro Football Focus, and allowed a 55.5% completion rate on a whopping 117 targets.

Despite being an easy target for Cowboys fans, Brown has been a more-than-serviceable No. 2 cornerback in his career. That said, it begs to question if he'll be the same player post Achilles surgery as far as his speed, lateral movements and overall confidence and trust in the repaired leg.

49ers starting cornerbacks cornerbacks Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas both suffered injuries in Week 2. While Lenoir returned to the game, Thomas' knee injury kept him out and forced the secondary to shuffle.

While Brown is a long shot to suit up in Week 3, he could be activated to face the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football if his medicals check out. Regardless, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch will seek out some insight on Dan Quinn's defense for however long Brown lasts in the Bay Area.

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