49ers playoff game vs. Cowboys a fitting next chapter to rivalry

Victor Bolden #17 of the San Francisco 49ers catches a pass over Donovan Olumba #32 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Victor Bolden #17 of the San Francisco 49ers catches a pass over Donovan Olumba #32 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

123. 13-4. 49ers -4. 6:30 p.m. ET. 42. 12-5. Fox. Sunday, Jan. 22

The 49ers face the Cowboys in the NFL playoffs for the second time in two years, and the Niners hope to repeat last year’s success as part of the rivalry.

For the second year in a row, the San Francisco 49ers will square off against arguably their top rival in franchise history, the hated Dallas Cowboys, in a playoff contest.

A year ago, the Niners knocked off quarterback Dak Prescott and Co. on the road at AT&T Stadium in a 23-17 victory during Wild Card weekend in which Dallas nearly staged an improbable comeback in one of the weirder finishes in recent postseason memory.

However, there are plenty of memories San Francisco fans would probably forget when it comes to facing the Cowboys in the playoffs.

Of course, there was the 1982 NFC Championship game in which “The Catch” became an iconic photo forever stamped in NFL lore. And the 49ers finally turned the tide against the Cowboys in the 1995 NFC Championship game, too, which came on the tail end of losing to their hated rivals in the conference finale the previous two seasons.

While the developments that have panned out over the last two years may not echo the first half of the 1990s or even way back in the early 1970s, the Niners squaring off against Dallas sure is fitting.

49ers have some catching up to do vs. Cowboys in NFL playoffs

Why is it fitting for San Francisco to face the Cowboys in the NFL playoffs again?

It’s simple: The 49ers have to get even for those painful losses back in the early 1970s and before that memorable 1994 season that ultimately culminated in the Niners’ last Super Bowl.

Dallas is still 5-3 against San Francisco in postseason play, and the 49ers’ only two victories over the Cowboys in the playoffs came as bookends before and at the end of the Niners’ dynasty years between 1982 and 1994.

That Wild Card win in January of 2021 helped close the gap, but there’s a long way to go.

Related Story: Why 49ers and Cowboys are such heated rivals

A year ago, a hobbled quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo managed to get the best of Prescott, but this year will feature a rookie signal-caller in Brock Purdy, who hasn’t lost a game since taking over for an injured Garoppolo as the starter back in Week 14, beating the very same team Dallas beat in the Wild Card round on Monday night to advance to the divisional round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That alone will be a storyline to watch.

So will a defensive showdown between two players in the running to be this year’s Defensive Player of the Year recipient, 49ers EDGE Nick Bosa and Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons.

However, as any Dallas or San Francisco fan can attest, the player names have changed over the years, but the rivalry is still very much there.

And the next installment will play itself out when both teams square off from Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Next. 10 biggest moments from 49ers-Cowboys rivalry. dark