5 ways 49ers slow down Cowboys vaunted offense in Wild Card round
By Peter Panacy
No. 4: Pressure from 49ers will be key on Dak Prescott
No quarterback enjoys facing relentless pressure, and it’s almost cliche to say a good pass rush is necessary for defensive success.
But it is.
Both San Francisco and Dallas have done a relatively good job protecting their respective quarterbacks this season, and interestingly enough, both teams have allowed precisely 33 sacks each. Dak Prescott took 30 of those sacks on the year and has a 4.8-percent sack rate, which is respectable enough.
Yet there’s a noticeable difference between Prescott’s passing efforts when he’s pressured compared to when he’s not, at least according to Pro Football Focus‘ analysis of his passer rating when pressured compared to when he’s not:
- Passer rating when pressured: 84.3
- Passer rating without pressure: 111.0
There are two other notable takeaways here, too. For starters, the lethality of the Cowboys’ pass-catching targets against a questionable 49ers secondary means that pass rush needs to get home quickly.
If it does, leading to the other takeaway, the Niners may hope to exploit the fact no other player in the league fumbled more in 2021 than Prescott, who dropped the ball a whopping 14 times.