49ers Mailbag: Bring on the Cowboys!

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, left, is hit by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arden Key, who was called for a penalty on the play, during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

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.”

This article has 24 Comments

  1. The Dallas Cowboys and their fans have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Think of Seattle fans and add in mountains of arrogance, ignorance, and constant complaining and you have a Cowboy fan. They were the most annoying fan base in the NFL until their team went in the tank after Rachelle Smith and pounds of cocaine took down Michael Irvin. Now Seattle fans are the most annoying but even they pale in comparison to 90s Cowboys fan. Really looking forward to renewing this rivalry.

    1. Wish you would change the handle but ya know I totally agree with you. Earlier I thought,” I wish they would
      give that Montana kid a chance”. They did, I was glad and the rest is history. The seahawks are this gens cowboys.

      1. The handle is likely not anything you think it is. I don’t really agree Seahawk fan reaches the level of 90s Cowboy fan. They were truly awful. Seahawk fan is just grunge a-hole with an inflated sense of their team. Cowboy fans in the 90s were basically Red Sox fan after their first World Series. Truly obnoxious, unbearable people. I still can’t stand to listen to Troy Aikman announce 49er games. I’d rather watch games called by Chris Collinsworth for the rest of eternity than watch one more game called by Troy Aikman. Can not stand the guy. He is the embodiment of 90s Cowboy fan.

    2. Those 90’s Cowboys fans are the worst and the most annoying you will ever see! You really don’t want them coming back so let’s put a break on that and beat the crap out of them! Let’s go Niners!

  2. This game is the one that scares me as a fan the most. Which cowboy will show up? Which 49ers team will show up. I’m confident that even if both showed up at their best, the 49ers are just a better overall team.
    Their pass rush is scary and if Trent doesn’t play, it’s going to be bad on that left side.
    Must establish the running game and wear that clock out and their defense. Can’t get down by 17 this time. Keep it close in the first half and dominate the second half. This team if they have the opportunity must put up 6 over 3 in the final quarter. If feel much better being up by two scores with little time in the fourth left.
    With that said. If this team shows up playing hard and penalty free, I see a 31-13 score. Then off to GB the game I’ve been wanting since week 3.

    1. I agree. And frankly, GB doesn’t want to see us in Lambeau. They still have nightmares the last time we were there in the playoff. I still remember that big 3rd down conversion by Kap late in the 4th to set up the winning field goal.

    2. Agree. I’m glad the 49ers aren’t playing the Cardinals or Rams but this matchup is the one that probably scares me the most. I think the 49ers match up pretty well with Green Bay and Tampa Bay. Dallas – not so much. I think this game could boil down to which ref crew is working this game. Trevon Diggs is the new version of Seahawk Richard Sherman. He grabs and holds on every single play. If the ref crew is uneven in calling holding/PI or lets the Dallas secondary get away with holding on every play it could impact the outcome of the game. In my opinion if the Hochuli crew calls this game that could be doomsday for the 49ers.

    3. Cowboys seem to me like another version of the Rams. Talented QB, playmakers, can get the ball down the field, score points in bunches. Yet can also fall flat on their faces if not facing an NFCE opponent. Their D-line, pretty good, but do they have someone like Donald that can take over, I mean really take over, a game? Niners have matched up pretty well with the Rams, I don’t see it much differently against the Cowboys

      1. I think that Kyle v. McCarthy is a fairly large factor too, and I think that Kyle is at his best for this one. He had that one chance and came up short. Now I think he appreciates how very had it is to get another one so quick and that will motivate him. (Jimmy G too) I hope I’m right.

      2. Hey Rib…. but Dallas does have a better running game than LA, and we may not think it’s a big deal, but SF is totally in the heads of LA. Dallas doesn’t face that problem with us. Just gotta execute for 4 quarters and they should be fine. My problem is.. which SF team is going to show up? The tenn team or the team that won a big one in Cincy? Which is what Dallas reminds me a lot of.

        1. Then it’s a good thing Niners have the 4th best ranked run D in the conference, allowing 103 rushing per game :) And only allowing 78 per game since week 10 :) I think this is a good match up.

  3. Thought the score of that 94/95 NFC Championship game was 38-38. I remember it being too close for comfort in the 4th quarter.

    Loved that Eric Davis atoned for being burned often in the past with that pick six to start the game.

    1. My main recollection of the 94 Championship game was all the Cowboy fans screaming about a PI non-call on Deion Sanders matched up against Michael Irvin. Basically they said Cowboys would have won if Deion was called for PI. Obviously, they don’t care Michael Irvin pushed off on every route he ever ran his entire career. They were worried about Deion. And then of course the other Cowboy fan statement at the time was that the Cowboys would have won that game but they just ran out of time. Freaking losers.

    2. Sorry meant to type 38-28. Won by 10.

      As for the losers.. honestly I listen to Irvin all the time on the radio and he’s always super complimentary of the 49ers. Even now he thinks the 49ers are the most dangerous team heading into the playoffs. Aikman has also been quite complimentary of the 49ers. Jimmy Johnson also has been high on the 49ers during the recent Shanahan years.

      I don’t think they’re quite as arrogant as they seemed back in the day. I just love the rivalry and classic games and it’s great that all these old guys can have a beer now and look back on some amazing football.

      The only player I ever felt was a bit bitter and carried it with them somewhat was Too Tall Jones, but that’s going way back.

      As for the fans- that’s where the bitterness comes from. The players themselves have a lot of respect for one another and admiration for the classic games they played.

    3. Yeah, we started strong and I thought when we scored at the end of the 1st half on that beautiful throw by Steve that the game was over. But then, the Cowboys started clawing back in, and that non-PI call on Deion was the best call of the day. :) From a Niners fan’s point of view of course…

  4. 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.”

    Uhh, I’d say that last Rams game was a home game. I don’t think we generate as much noise for this team at Levi’s as we did in SoFi last week.

      1. Rib… that’s what I was going to say. The best thing coach can do is hope Philly upsets two teams and comes to Levi. 🤣

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