The 49ers thrilling comeback victory over the Rams on Sunday sent them into the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
San Francisco will face Dallas on Sunday, reviving one of the greatest rivalries in the NFL. And that history kicks off this week’s mailbag.
Vernon Freeman, @Rickniner – Can you please educate some of the younger generation of fans exactly why older 49ers fans hate the Cowboys? A little history lesson would be awesome.
The hatred of the Cowboys by 49ers fans dates to the early ’70s.
San Francisco and Dallas faced each other in the playoffs following the 1970, 1971, and 1972 seasons. The Cowboys came out on top each time.
The 1972 game at Candlestick Park was the real heartbreaker. The 49ers held a 28-13 lead going into the fourth quarter and would see their lead cut to 28-23, with only 90 seconds left to play.
Dallas recovered the onside kick, and Roger Staubach would hit Ron Sellers from 10 yards out with 56 seconds left to play to only to take a 30-28 victory.
San Francisco would finally get over on Dallas following the 1981 season when Joe Montana and Dwight Clark connected on The Catch. That play effectively ended Dallas’ run as America’s Team, and the 49ers went on a run of dominance throughout the ’80s.
The Cowboys made themselves back into a playoff team in the early ’90s, and once again the two storied organizations would face each other three straight years in the playoffs.
As was the case in the early ’70s, Dallas would get the better of San Francisco in 1992 and 1993.
In 1994, San Francisco would take advantage of the newly implemented salary cap to poach top players, including linebacker Ken Norton Jr away from Dallas.
In the 1994 NFC Championship game, the 49ers would quickly turn three Dallas turnovers into 21 points. San Francisco would hang on from there to take a 38-28 victory and earn the final Super Bowl trip during of that era.
Scott Wilkinson, @NonstopNiners – Kyle Shanahan and Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn must have learned a lot about each other during their time together in Atlanta. Does one of them have an edge over the other or is it a non-factor?
During his Monday conference call with Bay Area reporters, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about the impact Quinn has had on him as a coach and what’s it going to be like going up against his defense this week.
“Dan Quinn is one of the best coaches I’ve been around. One of the best people I’ve been around. I’ve got as much respect for him as anyone I’ve ever worked with,” said Shanahan.
“I haven’t jumped into it at a ton yet. It doesn’t surprise me how much he’s helped them this year. And they’ve got a real good one and I have a feeling he won’t be in that position very long.”
Shanahan has only faced Quinn once, in 2019 when Quinn was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta held San Francisco to only 22 points in that game and forced two turnovers. Matt Ryan was able to find Julio Jones from 5 yards out for a touchdown with only two seconds left to play for a come from behind win.
Theo Doukas, @Krataris – Does Jauan Jennings’ big game show the 49ers have more depth at WR then initially thought? When you think about Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Trent Sherfield?
The 49ers let Kendrick Bourne leave in free agency, and early on it seemed as if that may have been a mistake.
Jennings fits the mold of what Kyle Shanahan looks for in a third option. The former Tennessee Volunteer brings a physical presence to help with blocking in the run game to go along with the ability to make catches all over the field.
In his second season, Jennings has continued to show improvement throughout the year and proven that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan made the right call by sticking with their seventh-round draft pick from 2020.
Joseph (Joey P Sr.), @Jo_e_Infinite – Uncertain if this has been asked: regardless of Sunday’s outcome, if Jimmy Garoppolo agrees to restructure his contract providing millions in cap room to sign players that are vital to the team’s success, will they keep Jimmy?
The only way Garoppolo is possibly back with the 49ers in 2022 is for San Francisco to finish this season holding their sixth Lombardi Trophy after the Super Bowl.
Even that may not be enough for the 49ers to keep him around.
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan told everyone what the future would look like at quarterback for the 49ers when they used three first round draft picks to grab Trey Lance.
This season has been all about trying to get back to winning games on the field while also getting Lance ready to take over.
Based on what we saw from Lance against Houston, it appears he has made real strides in practice and could lead San Francisco’s offense next year. Throw in about $24 million in cap space and a draft pick or two from trading Jimmy Garoppolo and this team could be even better a year from now.
EV Daze, @EvrettDaze – What would you do to prep the team for 3 playoff games on the road?
The 49ers have been better on the road than home this season. So if it were up to me, I would keep doing what’s worked so far.
Here is what Kyle Shanahan said yesterday when asked about this.
“We’ve kind of been doing that the last three weeks. The last month anyways. So, nothing will change this week compared to last week,” said Shanahan.
“We’ll just be heading out there on Friday and I got to see the players some today. They’ll come in here on Wednesday. We usually have a half-speed on Wednesday, get a full practice on Thursday and another half one on Friday. But our guys are in a good place, nothing about them seems tired right now. They’re pumped for this opportunity, and they were really excited to come to work today.”