Cowboys vs. 49ers Divisional Round Preview


Jan 20, 2023

The NFL’s Divisional Round wraps up Sunday with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Dallas Cowboys (6:30 p.m. ET, FOX). The two teams last met during 2022’s Wild Card Weekend, with San Francisco upsetting Dallas 23-17 at AT&T Stadium. Things are a little different this time around.

The Niners are currently -3.5 point favorites and -205 on the moneyline. The winner of this contest will advance to the NFC Championship Game and battle either the Philadelphia Eagles or the New York Giants.

Cowboys @ 49ers Odds @ FanDuel
  • Spread: Cowboys +3.5 (-106) | 49ers -3.5 (-114)
  • Moneyline: Cowboys (+172) | 49ers (-205)
  • Total: Over 46.5 (-108) | Under 46.5 (-112) 
How They Got Here  San Francisco 49ers (13-4)

The red-hot 49ers enter Sunday’s matchup winners of 11 straight games. San Francisco’s season appeared all but over following the loss of quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, only for seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy to rise to the occasion.

Purdy improved to 6-0 as a starter following Saturday’s 41-23 Wild Card victory over the Seattle Seahawks, recording 332 passing yards and four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) in what was a spectacular playoff debut.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan has done a masterful job simplifying the offense for his young QB, allowing Purdy to exceed all expectations. It doesn’t hurt when you’re sharing the field with stars Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, and George Kittle

Of course, you can’t talk about the 49ers’ success without mentioning their league-best defense. Led by All-Pros Nick Bosa and Fred Warner, San Francisco allowed a scant 16.3 points per game during the regular season. With playmakers on both sides of the ball, it’s no surprise that the Niners have the best Super Bowl (+450) odds among the remaining NFC teams.

How They Got Here Dallas Cowboys (12-5)

The Cowboys endured an early-season absence of quarterback Dak Prescott en route to a 12-5 finish and the NFC’s No. 5 seed.

Dallas silenced its critics during Monday’s Wild Card game, dominating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-14. Prescott was particularly impressive, outplaying Bucs QB Tom Brady and accounting for five touchdowns as Dallas won its first road playoff game in 30 years

San Francisco Player to Watch:

 RB Christian McCaffrey

Acquired by San Francisco in October, McCaffrey has been dominant in a Niners uniform, racking up 1,210 total yards (746 rushing, 464 receiving) and ten touchdowns across 11 regular season games. He carried that momentum into the postseason, rushing for 119 yards on 15 carries, adding two receptions for 17 yards and a touchdown in San Fran’s victory.

While Dallas’s defense is amongst the league’s best, it’s been vulnerable against the run, surrendering 129.3 yards per game. A key cog in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, McCaffrey’s versatility is a matchup nightmare. You can expect Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to do everything he can to limit the ex-Panther’s effectiveness – easier said than done.

Dallas Player to Watch:

 LB Micah Parsons

Parsons followed up his tremendous rookie year with another All-Pro season, notching 13.5 sacks, 65 tackles (14 for loss), three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. The Cowboys, as a whole, were adept at getting after the quarterback, tying for third in the NFL in sacks with 54.

Dallas also recovered a league-high 17 fumbles, recorded 16 interceptions, and finished second in turnover differential (+10). The ability to generate consistent pressure and make life difficult for Purdy will undoubtedly be critical to a Cowboys victory. That starts and ends with Parsons.

For more trends, line movement, injury updates, player props, picks, and videos on the Cowboys at 49ers and all of the Divisional Playoffs, visit our NFL Game Previews page

Cowboys @ 49ers Insights & Trends
  • The 49ers are 9-1 this season at Levi’s Stadium
  • The 49ers are 12-6 against the spread, 8-2 ATS at home
  • The Cowboys are 5-4 on the road this season
  • The Cowboys are 11-7 against the spread, 5-4 ATS in away games
  • Teams have met eight times in the postseason, with Dallas winning five of those matchups
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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