The San Francisco 49ers (10-7) and Dallas Cowboys (12-5) are set to go head to head in an NFC Wildcard showdown this Sunday. The two teams have not met in the post-season since 1994 when they played in the NFC Championship and the Niners defeated Dallas 38-28.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, January 16, 2022 – 4:30 PM EST at AT&T Stadium
The Niners entered Week 18 as 4.5-point underdogs to the LA Rams and remain the team getting the points for this matchup. As for the Cowboys, they were 3.5-point favorites vs. the Eagles last week and continue to be the favored team entering round one of the playoffs. According to BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review), Dallas is a 3-point favorite over San Francisco with the over/under at 50.5.
The Niners didn’t look like they would be playoff contenders after starting the season went 3-5. But then they found a spark inside themselves and have gone 7-2 since. As underdogs against the Rams in Week 18, the 49ers pulled off a 27-24 overtime victory last Sunday, thanks to Ambry Thomas’ game-winning interception.
Jimmy Garoppolo was questionable up until pregame with a thumb injury but played under center with a wrap on his hand anyway. With a torn ligament, Garoppolo completed 23/32 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown.
Second-year receiver Brandon Aiyuk led the Niners in the air with six catches for 107 yards while rookie running back Elijah Mitchell led the ground game with 85 yards on 21 rushes. The defense has really stepped up in the second half of the season, allowing just 17.4 points a game since the start of December, ranking 10th in the NFL and third in total defense.
They’ll need to continue to do so when they face the No. 1 offense in the league for points and yards as Dallas has been averaging 31.2 points on the board a game and 407 yards. Even without some of their defensive stars, Dallas crushed the Eagles, 51-26, last Sunday and will be on a mission to do the same to the 49ers.
QB Dak Prescott threw a career-high five touchdown passes in the win and played all the way up until the 4th quarter before he was taken out to rest. He finished the 2021 season with 37 passing scores, breaking Tony Romo's single-season record of 36.
This is going to be a must-watch game as Dallas' offense will be put to the test against a 49ers hungry defense. Not to mention the fact that Dallas has struggled to contain the run this season and the Niners have plenty of options in the backfield.
But, they’ll still have to rely on Garoppolo with an important game on the line and he is known for making mistakes in big games. The Defensive Coordinator of the Year (in my book), Dan Quinn, will have his guys ready to go and will make enough stops to keep the Niners off the board, thus not letting Garoppolo and co. keep up.
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