These moments played a role in defining Cowboys-Niner’s rivalry

This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers will write another chapter in their big rivalry on Sunday in the NFC wild-card game.

The two well-known enemies have met a total of 37 times, with the Cowboys having a thin lead on the series, 19-17-1. Dallas won the final meeting 41-33 in Week 15 of the 2020 season.

Both coaching staffs are well versed in the many years of rivalry.

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan shared his own memories of when his father, Mike Shanahan, served as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator and quarterback coach from 1992 to ’94 – when the teams met in three consecutive NFC Championship Games.

“They’re part of my childhood. It was so cool football because everyone knew that for the three NFC championships, the three years were the Super Bowl.”

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is also familiar with the rivalry. He served as the Niners’ offensive coordinator in 2005 and suffered a 34-31 loss to Dallas in Week 3. He cited “The Catch” as his first recollection of the rivalry.

“Great tradition, great games, but more importantly, these games always mean something, and it’s no different this year,” McCarthy said. “So you always play for more, and it’s a privilege to be a part of this tradition.”

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was an assistant in San Francisco from 2000 to ’04 and is looking forward to the match

“There’s a new increased sense of things happening in the playoffs. All the teams are good, they tend to come down right to the end … I’m on and ready to go.”

Here are some of the best moments that made the 49ers Cowboys one of the greatest non-divisional competitions in NFL history, selected by NFL Nation reporters Nick Wagoner and Todd Archer.

We present “Captain Comeback”

A separate shoulder kept Cowboys QB Roger Staubach on the sidelines for most of the 1972 season, but he strengthened his status as “Captain Comeback” in the fourth quarter of the division round.

Craig Morton started the game as a quarterback for Dallas, but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble as San Francisco took a 21-6 lead in the second quarter.

“They laughed at us. Made fun of us during the game,” said Dallas security Charlie Waters. “They really enjoyed having taken over on us. They did not think there was any way [we’d come back] – because our offense was exuberant. We did absolutely nothing. “

The Cowboys’ offense was kept goalless in the third quarter, and coach Tom Landry made a QB change in the fourth.

Staubach fumbled the ball on his first possession, but made up for his mistake by leading Dallas to a miraculous comeback. He threw two touchdown passes in the final two minutes and found Billy Parks and Ron Sellers, giving Dallas a 30-28 lead.

Waters sealed the game by selecting 49ers QB John Brodie.

The catch

Joe Montana and Co. was behind the Cowboys 27-21 with less than five minutes left of the 1981 NFC Championship Game.

But Montana and Dwight Clark made the magic happen on the third down.

Montana avoided three defenders, rolled to the right and passed the ball to the back of the goal zone, where Clark made the winning grip with 51 seconds left of regulation.

The play, however, hardly happened.

“I was thinking of throwing the ball away,” Montana said after the game. “But I saw him open, and I wondered if I could hold on for half a second more …”

“What about those Cowboys?”

After finishing the regular season 13-3, Dallas steamrolled their NFC East rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, 34-10 in the division round, and stamped their ticket to face the 49ers in the 1992 NFC Championship.

Meanwhile, San Francisco ended the season 14-2 and came out on top in a tough division round game against Washington. Moreover, after winning four Super Bowls with Joe Montana through the 1980s, the team seemed to continue this stretch with Steve Young as its signalman.

Both teams were chock-full of offensive talent with Young and Jerry Rice on one side and Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin on the other.

Despite that, a low-scoring back-and-forth match followed in the first half, and the two were drawn to 10 at the break.

In the second half, Dallas scored three of the game’s final four touchdowns, which was enough to secure victory and a Super Bowl XXVII appearance.

But before he could face the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl, Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson had something to say:

“What about those Cowboys?”

And just like that, a phrase that has transcended generations of Dallas fans was born.

“We want to win the ball game, write it in 3-inch headlines”

In 1993, Johnson delivered yet another memorable phrase that has stood the test of time.

Before the two met for another NFC championship in a row, Johnson called a local sports radio program and made an unprecedented statement.

“We want to win the ball game,” Johnson said. “You can put it in three-inch-tall headlines.”

Well, he was not wrong.

Strengthened by a three-touchdown second quarter, Dallas dominated San Francisco 38-21 to advance to Super Bowl XXVIII.

Niners get their revenge

The Niners and Cowboys met for the NFC title for the third time in a row, with both quarterbacks having opposing circumstances. Aikman came in with a record of 7-0 which starts in the playoffs, while Young had not yet come over the hump and into the Super Bowl.

But in 1994, the pendulum finally swung in favor of the 49s.

Aikman threw a pick-six to Eric Davis on the first drive. Then Irvin fumbled on Dallas’ next possession, and Young took advantage of the ideal field position by connecting with Ricky Watters for a 29-yard touchdown. The Cowboys’ had another expensive early turnover on the next drive when Kevin Williams fumbled the kickoff and San Francisco took advantage of a touchdown.

And just like that, the 49ers led 21-0 with over seven minutes left of the first quarter.

Still, Dallas fought and recorded 451 yards in total, compared to San Francisco’s 294, but could not overcome five turnovers.

The 38-28 victory allowed Young to play his first Super Bowl appearance as the Niners’ starting quarterback.

Dallas winner “Deion Sweepstakes”

As he entered the 1995 low season, reigning Defender of the Year and Super Bowl XXIX champion Deion Sanders drove high after the best season of his career. But his one-year deal with San Francisco was over, and it was time to find his next home.

The Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles participated in the “Deion Sweepstakes” along with the Niners and Cowboys.

In Week 2, Dallas ended up signing Sanders to a seven-year, $ 35 million contract, making him the NFL’s highest paid defender at the time.

Due to surgery, Sanders was unable to make his America’s Team debut until Week 9, but he made an immediate impact and continued to be part of his second Super Bowl winning squad in as many years.

TO’s star-studded celebration

Terrell Owens’ legacy is highlighted by signature celebrations and unforgettable moments, and on Sept. 24, 2000, a star was born.

After receiving a 3-yard touchdown, Owens ran to midfield and spread his arms over the Cowboys’ logo. Nearly a minute later, longtime Dallas running back Emmitt Smith scored his own touchdown and responded by returning to the star to copy Owens. Later, TO picked up another touchdown and went back to midfield at Texas Stadium, but Cowboys’ safety George Teague met him at the star and delivered a big hit.

In a 2016 episode of ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show, Owens defended his decision to stand on the star.

“It had nothing to do with me trying to mock my opponent, it had nothing to do with me trying to mock the Cowboys … My coach was like, ‘Yo’ – he motivated me [to do this] – ‘That’s what this is about. Go to the star, give your thanks to God for watching this game, and show him who is the best player today. ‘ And that’s what I did. “

Tony Romo walks past the Niners in OT

In Week 2 of the 2011 season, Tony Romo managed to lead Dallas to an unlikely comeback victory.

Romo got several hits in the first half, including one from a blindside blitz that left him visibly in pain. He missed all but the last series in the third quarter, and his injuries later turned out to be a broken rib and punctured lung. He would return in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys were trailing by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, but the tide was changing rapidly.

Romo completed 5 of 6 passes on the drive that sent the game into overtime. His 77-yard pass to Jesse Holley created the winning field goal. Romo joined 20 of 33 passes in 345 yards and two touchdowns, with over 200 yards coming in the fourth quarter and OT.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: