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Cowboys' Dak Prescott 'Most Definitely' Wanted 49ers Matchup in Divisional Round

Erin WalshJanuary 19, 2023

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys runs onto the field prior to an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on January 16, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are set to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday, and quarterback Dak Prescott told reporters Thursday that he's excited for the matchup.

"Most definitely I did. I think this whole team did," Prescott said when asked if the 49ers is the matchup he wanted. "Obviously, using that loss last year as a motivation and just kind of the focal point, I guess, of the resiliency that we carried into the offseason."

The Cowboys and 49ers met on Wild Card Weekend last season, and San Francisco won 23-17.

Prescott and the Cowboys are back in the divisional round for the first time since the 2018 season following a 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend.

Prescott threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns in that matchup, but he's going up against a much tougher San Francisco defense Sunday.

During the regular season, San Francisco's DeMeco Ryans-led unit was No. 1 in the NFL, allowing 300.6 yards per gameβ€”222.9 passing and 77.7 rushing. It also allowed just 16.3 points per game.

The odds are stacked against Prescott and the Cowboys on Sunday even though the 49ers are rolling with rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.

Prescott is 0-2 in the divisional round during his career, and the Cowboys haven't made it past the divisional round since winning the Super Bowl during the 1995 season.

That said, San Francisco isn't about to take Dallas lightly, and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan knows that facing Prescott isn't going to be easy. He told reporters Wednesday (h/t 49ers Webzone):

"Dak has always been a challenge. When you're a pure pocket passer who can make all the throws in there and read the defense really well and get the ball to the right spots and do it accurately. That's why he's had the career he has and when things do break down, he's got a knack for how to get out of that pocket and make some off-schedule plays and that's why he has had such successful career so far."

If Prescott can lead the Cowboys past the 49ers, he'll further solidify himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.