49ers schedule release: 5 must-watch games in 2020

Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
4 of 6
San Francisco 49ers
Justin Skule #67 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Week 15 @ Dallas Cowboys

The 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys have a storied history against one another. The two franchises were part of many classic battles throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

A great rivalry was created as a result of those games played against each other. And in Week 15 on Sunday Night Football, the rivalry continues as the 49ers travel to AT&T Stadium.

Yes, the Week 15 matchup will showcase a top running back in the league in Ezekiel Elliott going up against a top defense in the 49ers. Yes, there will probably be a healthy dose of Cowboys rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb against veteran cornerback Richard Sherman of the 49ers.

But there is another storyline here that will provide some nostalgia for fans, for better or worse.

There will be a whole slew of familiar faces on the Cowboys sideline. First-year defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was head coach of the 49ers from 2005 to 2008. And head coach Mike McCarthy, now in his first year with Dallas, was San Francisco’s offensive coordinator in 2005.

For the sake of context, the two Mikes’ time on the 49ers yielded a 4-12 record. So it will be interesting to see how they do with the Cowboys now that the employee is now the boss in this pairing.

Also, former 49ers edge rusher Aldon Smith will be suiting up for the Cowboys in 2020. He left very unceremoniously in 2015 due to various conduct issues. But according to those close to him, he is clean, sober and ready for a second shot at the NFL.

If he can be even half as effective as he was during his first few pro seasons with the 49ers, he will be a great asset to the Cowboys. Redemption stories are always great to hear and while the 49er Faithful don’t want to wish success on the Cowboys in this game (or ever), it would be great to see Smith back in full form.