It's official. The No. 3 seed Dallas Cowboys are set to host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in the NFL Playoffs. And the Cowboys coaches, speaking to the media on Monday, sound ready.
“I’m damn fired up,'' said defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. "You kidding me? I’m ready to go.”
By "ready to go,'' by the way, Quinn doesn't mean "go to Denver to interview for the Broncos head coaching job,'' though for Quinn and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, that is on the horizon. (Quinn declined to address that on Monday, except to say he's focused on, “Just kicking ass and being right where my feet are." Which some in Cowboys Nation continue to mistakenly think he wants to stay in Dallas as an assistant, no matter what.
But for now? The focus is on the 49ers, with a respectful tone reflected in Moore’s note about how his offense eyeballs theirs.
"You'd be dumb not to watch their stuff,” Moore said of San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan’s program. “They're always on the cutting edge."
The 49ers were slotted as the No. 6 seed after they came from behind to beat the Los Angeles Rams 27-24 in an overtime thriller.
Despite facing a 17-point deficit, San Francisco persevered and pushed through a win at the Rams and figure to be difficult team to put away in the postseason.
It'll be the first time the 49ers and Cowboys have met in the playoffs since the NFC Championship Game in 1995. To put it into context, Ezekiel Elliott was born six months after the last time these storied franchises met in the playoffs.
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The Niners are coming into the Wild-Card round having won four of their last five games, including two overtime wins on the road. The Cowboys have also won four of their last five, and are coming off one of their better offensive performances in Saturday's 51-26 win at Philadelphia.
Last year, the Cowboys ended the Niners' playoff hopes during the regular season in a 41-33 win. And the Cowboys will look to eliminate the 49ers for the second year in a row ... this time in the postseason.
As Dak said, "The real shit starts.'' And it starts with the 49ers.
And the coaching staff, led by Mike McCarthy? He hasn't been in the playoffs in five years, but “I never had any doubts (I’d get back). I feel like this is where I belong. I know this is where we belong.”
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