There’s a rich playoff history behind the 49ers and Cowboys, and after 27 long years of not meeting in the postseason, the rivalry has been revived.
The San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys were two of the most successful franchises in all of the NFL during the 1980s and 1990s. The Niners claimed four of their five Super Bowl rings in the 1980s, while the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990s.
And both teams battled it out for multiple conference championships during that stretch, too, creating some of the most heralded moments in football history.
Between those championship years were also other successful seasons, as the 49ers were kings of the 1980s, while the Cowboys had a dynasty of their own in the 1990s. But the teams have had some unforgettable games played against one another on the largest stages of them all. Although the teams have only met seven times in the postseason, they met in the NFC Championship game for three straight years between 1993 and 1995.
With these two rivals locking horns once again in the playoffs for the first time in over 25 years, let’s go back and revisit the history between both Dallas and San Francisco
49ers vs. Cowboys in the 1982 NFC Championship game: ‘The Catch’
One of, if not the most iconic play in NFL history is known as “The Catch,” made by 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark in the 1982 NFC Championship game.
It was 3rd-and-3 and the Niners had 58 seconds remaining on the clock, as Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana rolled to the right finding Clark in the back of the end zone.
The 6-yard touchdown pass would catapult San Francisco ahead of Dallas, securing a 28-27 victory.
Montana orchestrated an impressive 14-play, 83-yard drive to secure the win that would make the 49ers both NFC champions and eventual Super Bowl champions that season.
The victory marked the start of a long and prosperous dynasty for the franchise after suffering three playoff defeats to the Cowboys in the early 1970s.