SF 49ers: 10 most painful playoff losses in franchise history

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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SF 49ers, Dallas Cowboys
Defensive end Cedrick Hardman #86 and defensive tackle Charlie Krueger #70 of the San Francisco 49ers sack quarterback Roger Staubach #12 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by James Flores/Getty Images) /

No. 1: SF 49ers 1972 divisional loss to Cowboys

Final Score: Cowboys 30, SF 49ers 28

And for the No. 1 playoff moments SF 49ers fans would like to forget?

Well, it’s not the two Super Bowl losses. Not even those painfully hard-to-swallow NFC Championship game defeats.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

No, the worst postseason loss in Niners history goes way back to 1972 when San Francisco had the game in hand over the Cowboys entering the fourth quarter. Remember, Dallas had embarrassed the SF 49ers in the postseason leading up to this tilt, yet the Niners were in a position to end that trend in a decisive fashion.

Ironically enough, this bout made FanSided’s list for the worst defeat in 49ers history.

San Francisco was up 28-13 entering the fourth quarter. But Cowboys head coach Tom Landry made a decision that would forever live in Dallas lore: benching starting quarterback Craig Morton and replacing him with a future Hall of Famer, Roger Staubach.

Staubach would engineer an epic comeback, scoring an unanswered 17 fourth-quarter points en route to the 30-28 victory for the Cowboys.

Meanwhile, all those years of frustration for the SF 49ers at the hands of Dallas continued, and it would take another 10 years before the Niners finally got their playoff grudge match over their archrivals in 1982.

Power ranking all 9 playoff quarterbacks in 49ers history. dark. Next

At least that game was one for the storybooks, but Cowboys fans probably would like to rub this 1972 bout back in Niners fans’ faces.