The history of the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys: Rivalry, record

Jan 19, 2023, 9:45 AM | Updated: 1:48 pm
Wide receiver Terrell Owens #81 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates in the end zone after scoring...
IRVING, TX - DECEMBER 8: Wide receiver Terrell Owens #81 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates in the end zone after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys with 12 seconds left on December 8, 2002 at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. The 49ers beat the Cowboys 31-27. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Here we go again.

After both teams had dominant wins on Wild Card Weekend, the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys will meet in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs Sunday.

The 49ers punched their ticket to round 2 after beating the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. San Francisco then watched Monday Night Football, with the winner of Tampa Bay v. Dallas as the next opponent heading to Levi’s Stadium.

Both teams last saw each other in the 2021 postseason when the 49ers went into Texas and beat the Cowboys, 23-17, on Wild Card Weekend. Since then, both squads have only improved.

The 49ers are on an 11-game win streak, while the Cowboys had one of their best outings of the season Monday night in Tampa. Practically the same roster from last season, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan expects a battle in the Bay Sunday.

“They’re a good team. They’ve been it all year,” Shanahan said Wednesday. “Probably looked at their best on Monday night, which you expected them to just with atmosphere and everything, but they’ve been good by it for a while and just watching them this week, it’s reminds me of their team from last year and they only improved.”

In Week 7, quarterback Dak Prescott returned for Dallas and running back Christian McCaffrey debuted for San Francisco. Since then, the Cowboys and 49ers are the only 2 squads in the NFL to average 30 points and outscore their opponents by 10.

This weekend’s clash also has historical connotations as well.

One of the most heated rivalries of the late 20th century, the Dwight Clark catch of the 1982 NFL Championship game since lingers as one of the most iconic memories for the Red & Gold. Both teams met in the postseason three consecutive times in the 1990s, with Dallas getting the better of them two out of three times.

And of course the famous Terrell Owens incident. Going off for 5 catches, 51 receiving yards and two touchdowns, T.O. trolled Dallas in their own stadium, running to the logo at midfield before planting the football on the ground after his second score. Cowboys safety George Teague didn’t like that very much, checking Owens to the ground with a big hit that set both benches off.

A rivalry that has loomed dormant for some time, Shanahan believes that the feud is not on reignited, but that more playoffs game will make it bigger than ever.

“Yeah, I think that’s how rivalries happen. You guys knew it from the ‘80s when it started out. And I remember so much from my childhood from sixth grade to ninth grade, because I was here ‘92 to ‘94, so it was the biggest rivalry in football to me growing up. And then usually that goes away when you don’t meet in the playoffs a bunch and we had a big game last year, we have a big game this year, so the more you do that, the bigger it gets again,” Shanahan said.

The Cowboys hold a slight edge over the 49ers, with 19-18-1 record all-time. Now slated to meet at Levi’s Stadium for the first time since 2017, ticket prices have skyrocketed since the game was made official Monday night.

A rivalry with nasty beef between the two, Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium will be a sight to see, as both teams want to see the other fall.

“Family and everyone supports them and you got to go against them and crush their dreams. I like that aspect of it,” Texas native and 49ers defensive end Charles Omenihu stated with a smile.


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