The Dallas Cowboys host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in the NFL's Wild Card Round of the playoffs for the 2021 season. And while the players on the field might not be too familiar with one another, the fans who cheer for the uniforms certainly are.
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The Cowboys-49ers playoff history is one that tells many tales. Dallas dominated early on, beating San Francisco in consecutive conference championship games in 1970 and 1971 before the 49ers exacted revenge in 1981 during the divisional round with the now infamous Montana-to-Clark play known as "The Catch."
Then came the 1990's when the Cowboys won two of three conference championship games against the 49ers from 1992-1994 on their way to three Super Bowl titles in four years.
Some Cowboys fans today weren't even alive for any of those games, but some remember them like they were yesterday, and for them, Sunday's Wild Card matchup is just a continuation of the rivalry.
For the Cowboys, it's the first playoff appearance since the 2018 Divisional Round loss to the Rams, and it's the first playoff appearance for the 49ers since the 31-20 Super Bowl LIV loss to the Chiefs.
Keep it here at CowboysSI.com for all the in-game updates for Cowboys-49ers in Sunday's NFL Wild Card game at AT&T Stadium.
There were no additions to the Cowboys reserve/COVID-19 list, so only linebacker Keanu Neal (chest/elbow) is missing on Sunday. The inactives for Dallas today: Neal, Nahshon Wright, Matt Farniok, Maurice Canady, Quinton Bohanna and Simi Fehoko.
The 49ers listed inactives for Sunday are RB Trey Sermon, OT Jaylon Moore, CB Deommodore Lenoir, CB Darqueze Dennard and DT Maurice Hurst. Players with injury designations are LB Azeez Al-Shaair (knee) questionable, LB Marcell Harris (Achilles) questionable, S Talanoa Hufanga (knee) questionable, and P Mitch Wishnowsky (concussion) questionable.
Dallas wins the toss but defers. San Francisco receives the opening kick.
San Francisco begins the first drive of the game accepting a pre-snap penalty on Dallas for a neutral zone infraction and starts first-and-5.
Deebo Samuel runs up the middle for nine yards to the SF 39, and the 49ers stick with him on the next play but he's caught for a one-yard gain by Randy Gregory.
The 49ers pass on consecutive plays for 17 yards to Benjamin and for 11 yards to Aiyuk. Then Mitchell runs for 13 to the DAL 19 for a first-and-10.
TOUCHDOWN 49ERS: Elijah Mitchell carries around the right end for four yards for a touchdown. The SF scoring drive was seven plays, 75 yards, and took 4:06 off the clock. Jimmy Garoppolo was 3-for-3 for 43 yards on the drive.
The Cowboys begin their first drive of the game with an incomplete pass from Dak Prescott and an Ezekiel Elliott run that's a loss of three yards. On third-and-13 Prescott is sacked by Nick Bosa for a quick three-and-out for Dallas with 9:27 left in the first quarter.
San Francisco takes over from its own 42 with an incomplete pass from Garoppolo to Mitchell under pressure from Parsons, who was injured on the play and has left the game. On third-and-10 Garoppolo completes to Jennings for 11 yards for a first down. Jordain Lewis was on the coverage. First down SF from the DAL 47.
Mitchell runs to the right for four yards, then up the middle for nine yards for another first down from the DAL 34. The Cowboys' defense has no answer for the 49ers' run game early. On first down, Garoppolo passes to Mitchell behind the line and Dorance Armstrong is waiting for him for a loss of 11 yards. On third-and-16 the Cowboys faithful made some noise causing a SF delay of game penalty. On third-and-21 Kyle Juszczyk catches a pass for 10 yards to the DAL 35.
FIELD GOAL 49ERS: Robbie Gould is good from 53 yards. The 49ers scoring drive goes nine plays, 23 yards, and took 4:43 off the clock for a San Francisco 10-0 lead with 4:53 left in the first quarter. Micah Parsons remains out.
Dallas takes over for its second possession of the game from its own 19. Prescott passes incomplete to Cooper then finds him on second down for 10 yards. Elliott runs off left tackle for four yards for a first down.
The report on Parsons is he's fatigued from having COVID symptoms last week. He's not being tended to by trainers on the sideline at the moment.
On third-and-6 Prescott hits Lamb for 32 yards but it's negated by a Connor Williams holding penalty. On the next play (third-and-16) Prescott hits Cedrick Wilson for six yards who tries to lateral a pass to a sprinting Tony Pollard but he misses Pollard and the ball is officially fumbled out of bounds at the 19 (It was a brilliant play that would've gone for a huge gain had Wilson hit Pollard). Bryan Anger punts 59 yards to the SF 22.
San Francisco takes its third possession of the game from its own 22.
Micah Parsons has returned to the game.
Mitchell loses a yard on first down then runs for six on second down. On third-and-5 Randy Gregory commits a neutral zone infraction giving SF a first down.
Garoppolo passes to the left side for Aiyuk for nine yards to the SF 41. Mitchell then runs to the right and loses two yards, tackled by Vander Esch and Parsons ending the first quarter.
On third-and-3 from the SF 39, Garoppolo hits Samuel across the middle for 19 yards to the DAL 42. At this point in the game, SF has more first downs (9) than the Cowboys have run plays (8).
Mitchell runs left tackle for no gain then Samuel runs off right end for one yard. On third-and-9 Garoppolo finds Aiyuk on the near sideline for 10 yards right at the line to gain for a first down.
Mitchell runs off left tackle middle for five yards then up the middle for two yards. On another third down Samuel fights for two yards bringing up fourth down.
FIELD GOAL 49ERS: Gould is good from 40 yards pushing the SF lead to 13-0 with 9:40 left in the half. The SF scoring drive went 12 plays, 56 yards, and took 7:58 off the clock.
Dallas takes over its third possession of the game from its own 33. Elliott runs off right end for five yards then another five yards for a Cowboys first down. Pollard runs around the right end for eight yards, then Prescott hits Lamb on a wide receiver screen for a first down and the Cowboys cross midfield for the first time in the game.
Pollard runs again to the right side but for just two yards, then Prescott hits Wilson on the left side for 18 yards to the SF 25. On first down, Pollard runs again for five yards to the SF 20 and then for no gain bringing up a third-and-5 for Dallas.
TOUCHDOWN COWBOYS: Prescott finds Cooper deep right in the end zone for the touchdown. The Cowboys scoring drive goes nine plays, 67 yards, and takes 4:21 off the clock. After the Zuerlein extra point it's 13-7 49ers with 5:19 left in the half.
On the next play from scrimmage, Garoppolo finds Aiyuk across the middle for 37 yards to the DAL 38. Then Mitchell loses a yard up the middle. Juszczyk catches a pass for five yards up the middle bringing up a third-and-6.
Garoppolo's pass is deflected at the line by Armstrong for a fourth down.
FIELD GOAL 49ERS: Gould is good from 52 making the score 16-7 with 3:03 left in the half. The SF scoring drive was five plays, 41 yards, and took 2:16 off the clock.
Dallas begins its drive from the SF 25, and Prescott hits Cooper for nine yards and Elliott carries for no gain bringing up a third-and-1. Elliott carries around the left side for a first down bringing up the two-minute warning.
Prescott misses Wilson downfield for what would've been a big gain, the Prescott misses Elliott on a screen pass to the left bringing up a third-and-10 for Dallas.
Prescott finds tight end Dalton Schultz for 12 yards for a first down, then finds Cooper again for a gain of eight. On second-and-2 it's Schultz again on the left side for six yards with 1:24 left in the half.
On the next play Collins gets tagged for a holding call so the Cowboys will be facing a first-and-20. Nick Bosa was injured during the play.
Under pressure, Prescott finds Elliott who gets back to the line of scrimmage for a third-and-19. Prescott is incomplete to Wilson across the middle. The Cowboys will punt again.
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San Francisco takes over from its own 3 yard line with 22 seconds in the half. Mitchell runs up the middle for seven yards to the 10 yard line and Dallas calls a timeout.
Mitchell runs again up the middle to run the clock out. it's 16-7 49ers at the half.
Dallas starts the half with the ball after deferring in the first half.
Elliott runs off right tackle for one yard, then Prescott finds Schultz for another five yards. On third-and-4 Collins is called for consecutive false starts making it third-and-14. Prescott is sacked at the DAL 15 for a loss of six yards and Dallas is forced to punt.
San Francisco's Nzeocha is called for roughing the kicker for a 15-yard personal foul penalty for a first down Cowboys.
Elliott runs to the left for nine yards and Nick Bosa was injured again on the play. Elliott runs again for three yards for a first down. Prescott misses Wilson deep then misses Lamb on the left side bringing up fourth down.
The Anger punt hits the video board and will be re-kicked by rule. The next punt is downed by SF at its own 7 yard line.
Nick Bosa has been diagnosed with a concussion and will not return.
Mitchell runs up the middle for 11 yards but Tomlinson is called for holding. Then Mitchell runs up the middle for five, but Parsons is called for a neutral zone infraction. On second-and-5 Garoppolo misses Juszczyk on the right side.
On third-and-5 the 49ers convert as Garoppolo finds Jennings for 13 yards. Anthony Brown was beaten on the play.
Garoppolo's pass to Sherfield is batted in the air and multiple Cowboys defensive players had a chance to intercept it but it fell incomplete.
Samuel runs up the middle for nine yards. On third-and-2 the Cowboys' defense holds and Garoppolo misses Jennings on the left side. The 49ers will punt for the first time today.
The Cowboys will take over from their own 23.
Prescott misses Lamb deep left then hits Schultz for five yards but Cedrick Wilson is called for an illegal block in the back and the Cowboys will have a first-and-15. Prescott then gets sacked by Jones for 13 yards to the Dallas 19.
INTERCEPTION 49ERS: Prescott passes short left intended for Wilson, intercepted by Williams at the DAL 26.
TOUCHDOWN 49ERS: Samuel runs off the right end for 26 yards for the touchdown. One play, 26 yards, 0:08 off the clock. The San Francisco lead is 23-7 with 5:50 left in the third quarter.
Dallas takes over from its own 25 and Dak hits Cooper for six then misses Lamb. On third-and-4 Prescott scrambles for two yards forcing a punt. Anger punts 58 yards to the SF 9.
Mitchell loses a yard on first down but runs for 16 yards on second down to the SF 24. On third-and-11 Garoppolo misses Aiyuk deep who is wide open bringing up fourth down.
After the punt, Dallas takes over from its own 30. Prescott is sacked for 10 yards to the DAL 20 then Lamb is called for an illegal shift for another penalty for five yards. Second-and-25 from the DAL 15.
Prescott hits Wilson for 24 yards to the DAL 39 then Elliott runs for four yards for a first down, ending the third quarter.
Prescott hits Wilson for five yards on first down then on second down Elliott runs for no gain. On third-and-5 Prescott misses Cooper forcing a punt.
Dallas runs a fake punt as Anger passes to Goodwin for 16 yards for a first down to the SF 36.
Then Dallas gets caught for a delay of game penalty trying to catch San Francisco sleeping with its punt unit still on the field. On first-and-15 Prescott misses Cooper on the left side then hits Turner for six yards on second down. On third-and-9 Prescott throws to Pollard for just two yards.
FIELD GOAL COWBOYS: Zuerlein is good from 51 pushing the score to 23-10. The Cowboys scoring drive was 11 plays, 37 yards, and took 4:41 off the clock.
The 49ers take over from their own 26. Garoppolo passes to Kittle for 18 yards to the SF 44. Samuel carries for five yards off left tackle.
COWBOYS INTERCEPTION: Garoppolo passes to the right side intended for Sherfeild and intercepted by Anthony Brown, returned to the SF 28.
Prescott finds Cooper for 11 yards to the SF 17 then finds Lamb for his first catch of the day for 10 yards. On first-and-goal Prescott throws the ball away out of the end zone. 49ers Fred Warner is injured on the play.
Elliott rushes two yards up the middle to the SF 5 yard line.
TOUCHDOWN COWBOYS: Prescott scrambles to the left for five yards for the touchdown. Dallas' scoring drive goes five plays, 28 yards, and took 1:35 off the clock. It's 23-17 San Francisco with 8:02 left in the fourth quarter.
San Francisco begins from its own 18 yard line and Garoppolo scrambles for one yard, then Mitchell runs up the middle for five yards. On third-and-5 Jennings picks up five on the pass from Garoppolo for the first down.
The Cowboys' Odighizuwa is called for defensive holding giving San Francisco a first down from the 29. Mitchell runs for three yards then Garoppolo misses Kittle.
On third-and-7 Tomlinson gets called for a false start, backing the ball up five yards. On third-and-12 Neville Gallimore gets called for an illegal use of the hands penalty for an automatic first down for San Francisco. It's the 13th penalty for the Cowboys in the game today.
Mitchell runs up the middle for no gain then Samuel runs for five. Garoppolo finds Samuel for five yards and Vander Esch keeps him from getting the first down.
San Francisco lines up to go for it but was trying to draw Dallas offsides. The 49ers punt and Dallas takes over from its own 16.
Prescott's first down pass is deflected at the line and falls incomplete, then Prescott finds Schultz for 38 yards to the SF 46. On first down Prescott is sacked for a loss of one yard. Prescott then misses Lamb on the right side bringing up the two-minute warning.
On third down Smith gets called for offensive holding bringing up a fourth-and-11.
Prescott can't hit Wilson who is wide open and the Cowboys turn the ball over on downs. San Francisco will take over from its own 47.
Mitchell runs off left guard for one yard, then Randy Gregory gets called for a defensive hold giving the 49ers another first down.
Mitchell runs for two yards, then for three yards as Dallas is burning its timeouts. Samuel runs for a first down but after review it's confirmed short. The 49ers attempt a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-inches but are called for a false start making it fourth-and-5. The 49ers punt with 32 seconds left.
Prescott hits Wilson who laterals to Lamb for 11 yards. Pollard runs 10 yards to the 50. Prescott hits Schultz for 9 to the SF 41 with 18 seconds left.
Prescott ran for 17 yards up the middle and the team couldn't get set to run another play as the clock ran out.
END OF GAME: SF 23, DAL 17