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Cowboys-49ers is riddled with historic vibes

The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have played more big games over their shared histories than any other non-divisional foes.

Here we go. Another round of the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys in the postseason.

For more than 50 years, these organizations find each other. And not just in playoff games, but in the biggest spots two intra-conference teams possibly can.


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This weekend, we fall one step short of such a moment. It’s the NFC Divisional round, with the winner advancing to visit the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field next Sunday afternoon.

But the stakes remain enormous, and they are only raised by the history between Dallas and San Francisco.

The feud started in 1970, with the final game ever played at Kezar Stadium. The host 49ers and visiting Cowboys were in the NFC Championship Game, each trying to reach their first Super Bowl. Dallas won 17-10, losing to the Baltimore Colts in the subsequent tilt.

In 1971, there was a rematch, this time at Texas Stadium. Dallas won again, 14-3, and this time went on to its first title. The following year, the scene shifted to Candlestick Park on the East Bay, where the Niners took a 28-13 lead in the fourth quarter. Dallas inserted Rogert Staubach at quarterback for Craig Morton, and scored 16 unanswered points to win.

Finally, in 1981, San Francisco got its revenge. Despite six turnovers in the NFC title game, Joe Montana and Co. engineered a 28-27 win, culminating with The Catch.

The two sides wouldn’t see each other again in a postseason clash until the ’90s, but this was the rivalry’s golden era. From 1992-94 the Cowboys and 49ers played in three consecutive NFC Championship Games, with the first and last games coming in San Francisco. Dallas won the first two with the Niners securing the back end of the trilogy. In each instance, the winner went on to blow out the AFC representative in the Super Bowl.

Now, the rivalry is being reborn. Last year, San Francisco went to AT&T Stadium and beat Dallas in the Wild Card round, 23-17. Suddenly, the Cowboys have a chance at revenge, trying to take down rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.

On Sunday, we’ll have the ninth round of this classic rivalry, with both looking to land a knockout blow.

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