Jan 20, 2023 - Sports

Cowboys and 49ers are renewing a decades-old rivalry

Dak Prescott starts to slide in front of two 49ers defenders

The last play of last season ... was painful to watch. Photo: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Cowboys will go to San Francisco to take on the 49ers in the second round of the NFL playoffs on Sunday evening, renewing a multi-decade rivalry.

Flashback: These two teams faced off in the playoffs three times in a row in the 1970s, then three times in a row in the 1990s. This will be the second year in a row they've met in the playoffs.

  • Dallas was favored when the two teams played at AT&T Stadium during last year's playoffs, but San Francisco won in excruciating fashion.

The big picture: The 49ers are 4-point betting favorites this year, largely because they've won 11 straight games and they have two of the biggest playmakers in the league on offense and the NFL sack leader on defense.

Yes, but: San Francisco hasn't faced a team with a record as good as Dallas' since October.

  • With their top two quarterbacks injured, the 49ers will start Brock Purdy, a rookie drafted in the seventh round.

What we're watching: Can Dak Prescott follow up the best game of his career with another impressive showing?

  • Can the Dallas defense contain all of San Francisco's weapons?
  • Can the Cowboys block Nick Bosa?
  • Can Dallas make an extra point? After kicker Brett Maher developed a record-setting case of the "yips" against Tampa Bay, the Cowboys signed another kicker as an insurance policy.

By the numbers: San Francisco has scored at least 37 points in four straight games.

  • They've only allowed 24 or more points three times this season.
  • The average price of a ticket to the game, at Levi's Stadium, is $1,400 — and some seats are going for upwards of $10,000.

Of note: If you can't afford that, there are plenty of local watch parties.

What's next: The winner of this game will play the winner of the Eagles-Giants game for a chance to go to the Super Bowl.


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