After being dormant for a number of years, the age-old rivalry between the 49ers and Cowboys picks back up in prime time this Sunday night.
The definition of the word rivalry is "competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field." On display for this week’s Sunday Night Football showdown is the 40th contest between the Dallas Cowboys and the host San Francisco 49ers.
This week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on Dallas' 105.3 The Fan that "[the] road to Super Bowl runs through 49ers." In the past two seasons, the 49ers have stopped the Cowboys dead in their tracks in the playoffs.
The all-time series between the two squads is tied up 19-19-1. The head-to-head series matchup in the playoffs is at 5-4 with the San Francisco being down a win.
‘The Catch” tilts balance between 49ers and Cowboys in their rivalry
After San Francisco suffered three straight defeats in the playoffs (1970, 1971 and 1972) to Dallas, quarterback Joe Montana and wide receiver Dwight Clark responded with vengeance.
The play that has become known as "The Catch" gave the 49ers the win in the 1982 NFC Championship game and would lead to their first-ever Super Bowl title.
Related story: Why the 49ers and Cowboys are such big rivals
Both teams sit at five Super Bowls apiece with Dallas winning in 1971, 1977, 1992, 1993 and 1995. Not only would San Francisco go on to win three more in the 1980s but the most recent one would break up the Cowboys’ streak in 1994.
Jerry Jones is right by saying, 'road to Super Bowl runs through 49ers’
From the late 1990s until recent years, both teams experienced little to no success in the postseason. San Francisco has been victorious in back-to-back playoffs against Dallas as the 49ers have ended the Cowboys' season two years in a row.
The Week 5 matchup on Sunday Night Football between the 49ers and Cowboys features two of the NFL’s best defenses. The Niners rank fifth overall in yards allowed a game at just under 285, while their opponent ranks second with a smidge below 260 yards per game.
Dallas’ defense has 14 sacks on the season already, tied for fifth in the league. However, the 49ers offense ranks second overall in the NFL with nearly 400 yards per game.
The Niners' largest defeat ever against Dallas came in 1980 when they were outscored 59-14. Given that the 49ers’ current offense puts up 31 points a game, as does their adversary, Sunday night’s outcome should go differently.
Both teams kick off Sunday Night Football on Oct. 8 at 8:20 p.m. ET from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California