With the Cowboys’ 51-26 victory over the Eagles on Saturday night, the lone star team did their part and had to wait for Sunday’s results to see if they could move up in the National Conference. In fact, there were a lot of results and combinations that could even give them a possible second place for Sunday.
Thanks to this, there was little hope that Dallas would move up at least one place and avoid a clash with the Cardinals, as had been anticipated since week 17. So on the one hand, the Arizona team lost to the Seahawks 38-30 While the Rams lost to the 49ers by 27 to 24. However, Tampa Bay did its thing against Carolina and won by 41 to 17.
Consequently, these results moved Dallas up one place in the National Conference. So they will play next January 16 against the San Francisco 49ers at AT&T Stadium.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 10, 2022
It should be noted that this is not just any match in the NFC. It is certainly the first time that both teams have officially met in the wild card round, but both franchises have a great history and cannot be overlooked.
In fact, they have seven games between the two in the postseason, although the record is positive for the Cowboys with five wins and just two losses. The last time they would see each other in this stretch of the championship would be on January 15, 1995. At that time, Dallas would lose to the NFC West rival 38-30 in the Conference championship duel. Eventually, the 49ers would win Super Bowl XXIX against the San Diego Chargers with a score of 49-26.
So a new duel is approaching between both organizations and the first installments regarding it have already come out, determining which could be the winning team. In Dallas’ case, they are just three points behind the 49ers. This indicates how little confidence there is in the lone star team. Despite the fact that they reached third place in the NFC and the fact that they will play in their own stadium.
And there are various reasons for this mistrust in the team. It doesn’t hurt to admit the bunch of offensive problems the group has had, especially during the month of December. Of course, they won every game last month, but that was largely thanks to their defense. Truth is, quarterback Dak Prescott hasn’t looked quite well since his return from a right calf injury. The one he had in the last overtime action that gave them victory over the Patriots in week 6.
— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2021
Another specific detail is that they have had a lot of problems with teams that have positive records. Not only did they lose to the Chiefs and Raiders back-to-back in November, but also a couple of weeks ago to the Cardinals. You have to take into consideration that these three teams are in the postseason. So a rival like the 49ers is not an easy thing. Especially for what was seen against the Rams in week 18, since the Los Angeles team went to halftime with a partial victory of 17 to 3. This did not intimidate San Francisco, who ended up taking the victory in overtime thanks to an interception by cornerback Ambry Thomas.
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) January 10, 2022
One of the fundamental aspects that the Cowboys rivals have is their offensive handling in the rushing game. As a group, they had a total of 2,166 rushing yards and a total of 22 touchdowns on carries this regular season. While it is true that perhaps their record for victories is against teams that are already eliminated or are not exactly the best, we must take into account that they beat the Rams this season and the Bengals in both games.
Either way, one of the big challenges the Cowboys are going to have will be stopping San Francisco’s carries. There is no question that the western defensive unit is one of the best in the league, but from time to time they have struggled defending the opponent’s rushing game. Among their final numbers this year, they have allowed opponents 1,918 rushing yards as well as a total of 13 touchdowns. In just the loss to Arizona, they allowed 127 rushing yards. And in week 9 against Denver, a total of 191.
Overall, the Cowboys have suffered in their latest losses thanks to rival rushing. Clearly, this is something the San Francisco team is going to use to their advantage.
— Coach Yac 🗣 (@Coach_Yac) December 12, 2021
Not to be overlooked is the fact that it might be considered disrespectful for the Cowboys to lead by just three points in betting odds against a team that finished third in their own division. However, the NFC East team’s experiences with stronger opponents have been very disappointing. It’s going to be up to the Cowboys themselves to get rid of that opinion, and go out with everything in their stadium and have a convincing victory over San Francisco. They have a whole week to prepare the dressing room and get through the wild card round without problems.