2 months ago

NFL Playoff Division Round Preview: Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The Dallas Cowboys (13-5) are heading to San Francisco to take on the 49’ers (14-4) in the second round of the playoffs. The winner of this game will head to the NFC Championship game.

Last year the 49’ers beat the Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs. Eliminating Dallas that quickly still leaves a bitter taste in players mouths. The biggest issue last year in that game for the Cowboys was their insane amount of penalties. They set a franchise record 14 penalties on the day that led to a 23-17 victory for the 49’ers.

Penalties have been an area of emphasis this entire season and Dallas has made positive changes to make sure they have little to no penalties in a game. In the Cowboys recent win over Tom Brady and the Bucs, Dallas only had two penalties for 15 yards.

San Francisco is currently on a 11-game win streak and seem to be red hot right now. With those 11 wins some would question the legitimacy of those wins. Three of those victories are by teams that have defenses 25th or worse in the NFL. The Cowboys have one of the best defenses in the league, ranked 7th in the NFL. Some would say Dallas is one of the harder defenses they will face in a long time.

Both pass rushes are extremely good and it will be fun to watch Micah Parsons and Nick Bosa try to sack the quarterbacks. Parsons is ranked sixth in the NFL with 14.5 sacks and Bosa is first with 18.5.

“I don’t want to go out there and try to outcompete the 49ers. They’re gonna beat my ass if I play their game. I’m going to play my game. I’m gonna bring my strengths and what I bring to the table. They’re gonna bring their strengths. Let’s just battle it out.” Parsons told the media after practice on Thursday.

“The bigger the stage, the bigger the player — right?” Parsons stated.

Last year against the 49’ers in the playoffs Parsons had 0 sacks and 0 QB hits. This year he enters the game with the third most quarterback pressures by any edge rusher in the NFL.

As good as the Cowboys defense is, the 49’ers defense is just as up to par. They have a solid pass rush led by Bosa and their secondary currently leads the NFL in interceptions with 20 picks on the season. QB Dak Prescott will have to play smart and keep an eye out for that secondary, and most importantly not throw interceptions.

The good news for Dallas is that their offensive line is top tier and protects Prescott extremely well, giving him more time in the pocket to make smart decisions. The Cowboys O-line is ranked fourth best in the league.

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