It’s been a while since a Dallas vs. San Francisco game has meant anything. The Cowboys last played in San Francisco in 2005 (a 35-31 Cowboy win) and last played the 49ers in 2008, a 35-22 win in Dallas.
These two teams have played each other six times in NFC Championship Games. Tellingly, the winner of that game went on to win five of six Super Bowl titles.
That was eons ago, but the memories burn bright. Another chapter will unfold in this compelling series, perhaps one that isn’t so critical but one full of interesting storylines.
Here come the Cowboys after their devastating 27-24 loss to the Jets. It was the first time ever that the Cowboys lost a game after leading by 14 points in the fourth quarter. Then there is the owner, Jerry Jones, bravely standing up for quarterback Tony Romo despite the fact that Romo made two key blunders—a goal-line fumble and a late interception into double coverage—that reignited the Jets’ chances.
Here are the 49ers—young, raw and still unsure of what they are capable of under new coach Jim Harbaugh. Their defense held Seattle to 219 yards last Sunday, a very good mark except the SF offense totaled 10 less. But special teams were key—four field goals by David Akers, the best net punting in the league by Andy Lee (nearly 60 yards gross, 54 net) and, of course, two Ted Ginn Jr. touchdown returns.
It stands to be a tempestuous mix: an angry, frustrated Dallas team loaded on offense but hurting on defense going against an unknown, still-forming team that looks to go 2-0 for the first time since 2009.
Here are seven reasons why the 49ers will beat the Cowboys.