The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers will bring the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs to a close on Sunday night in what will be the latest installment of a long postseason rivalry.
Cowboys vs. 49ers is the marquee matchup on this weekend’s playoff slate. The franchises are two of the most storied in league history, and due to their many seasons of success, the teams have collided often in the postseason. Tonight will be the ninth time the two organizations will face off in the playoffs since 1971, and for a second consecutive season.
In 2021, the Dallas Cowboys were the favorites, and the NFC East champions had home field advantage in their Wild Card Round matchup. However, Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers’ defense led the way in a 23-17 upset win in Dallas. The tables are turned in 2022, and now the Cowboys will be looking to send the Super Bowl contenders from San Francisco home early this year.
You can find live highlights of this NFC Divisional Playoff game below. Along with highlights, we also have a preview and some quick stats for each team as the Cowboys and 49ers battle inside Levi’s Stadium in California.
Cowboys vs 49ers Divisional Round highlights
This space will be your one-stop shop for highlights and analysis of the many key plays in the NFC Divisional Round matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers throughout the evening.
Before the game even started, players from the two teams created a pre-game highlight as there was a mild bruhaha regarding some practice kicks from struggling Cowboys kicker Brett Maher.
After a rough start for both offenses that featured serious pressure on the QBs from the 49ers and Cowboys’ defense, Purdy was able to connect with George Kittle over the middle for the first big play of the game. However, the Dallas defense held strong and limited the ‘9ers’ defense, and forced another punt.
While Prescott ended his interception streak last week against the Buccaneers, it was restarted in the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers’ defense. As Deommodore Lenoir perfectly read one of his passes and snagged up an easy interception to shift the momentum back to the 49ers.
Prescott responded on the Cowboys’ next drive after San Francisco notched a field goal for a 3-0 lead. That included a touchdown pass to tight end Dalton Schultz.
Unfortunately for the ‘Boys, struggling kicker Brett Maher had his extra point attempt blocked. The kick wouldn’t have been good in the first place. This comes after Maher missed four extra points in Dallas’ win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during wild card weekend.
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, who was the team’s leading rusher during the regular season, went down with an ankle injury late in the second quarter of the game. The injury itself did not look good.
On the very next play, Prescott threw his second interception of the first half on a pass picked off by All-Pro 49ers linebacker Fred Warner.
After being forced to punt in their first drive of the second half, the Cowboys quickly got the ball back after a fumble by the 49ers on a punt return. The San Francisco defense was able to hold in their own zone, but the Cowboys still cashed in with three points when Brett Maher ended his streak of unsuccessful field goals to tie the game at nine.
The third quarter continued to be more of the same in this old-school defensive war between the legendary franchises. However, late in the frame, tight end George Kittle made the catch of the playoffs as he tipped a Purdy pass off his hand, to his helmet, and back to his hands while a defender bared down on him.
The Kittle catch extended the drive, and the run game, led by Christian McCaffrey, started rolling downhill against Dallas. They pounded away, play after play until the star running back notched a touchdown run that gave the 49ers a 16-9 lead at the start of the final quarter of the NFC Championship game.
Following the San Francisco 49ers’ TD, the Cowboys fired back with a strong drive of their own as Prescott connected on several big plays. Unfortunately for Dallas, the 49ers D again bent but did not break. Holding their foes to another field goal. As Brett Maher continues to shake off his yips from last week.
The back and fourth battle continued with the 49ers being able to push the ball downfield, but the Cowboys D also bent but did not break. Limiting them to a field goal that extended the lead to 19-12 with just a few minutes left in the game.
After being able to get the ball back with well under a minute left, the Cowboys were unable to do much and went with trickery for a chance at a shocking touchdown. However, early in the play a 49ers defender blasted the man with the ball and put a definitive period on San Francisco’s outstanding 19-12 win. Sending them to the NFC Championship to face the Eagles.
Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers preview
Like most big NFL matchups, the two starting quarterbacks will get a lot of attention before the game. While both have been key to their teams’ success this season, they are at very different points in their careers.
Dallas’ Dak Prescott is the team’s established franchise QB and looking to deliver the organization their first Super Bowl title since 1996. San Francisco’s Brock Purdy is one of the most fascinating stories in the league this season after going from the last man picked in the 2022 NFL Draft, to becoming the starter, late in the season, for a serious title contender.
Below you can find a rundown of each man’s stats, but you call also head over to take a look at our more in-depth Dak Prescott vs Brock Purdy comparison.
Cowboys and 49ers QB comparison
As important as both quarterbacks will be in their team’s success Sunday, each team has strong defenses that could prove t be difference-makers in their NFL playoff matchup. Both have elite-level pass rushers — Nick Bosa for the San Francisco 49ers and Micah Parsons for the Dallas Cowboys. They also rank among the best in the league in several key statistical categories on defense.
Below we list where each team ranks in several key offensive and defensive stat categories. You can also find out where they land in our NFL Playoff defense and offense rankings. Plus, check out where Mike McCarthy and Kyle Shanahan rank among the head coaches left in the postseason.
Key regular-season rankings for Jaguars and Chiefs
- Total offense: Cowboys (10th), 49ers (4th)
- Passing offense: Cowboys (14th), 49ers (13th)
- Rushing offense: Cowboys (9th), 49ers (8th)
- Scoring offense: Cowboys (4th), 49ers (6th)
- Total defense: Cowboys (12th), 49ers (1st)
- Pass defense: Cowboys (8th), 49ers (20th)
- Run defense: Cowboys (22nd), 49ers (2nd)
- Scoring defense: Cowboys (5th), 49ers (1st)