Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott runs onto the field before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)
- The Dallas Cowboys host the San Francisco 49ers in Wild Card matchup
- Season Betting Record: 0-1 ML; 6-6 ATS; 2-3 O/U; -2.48 units
- Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction
In the 90’s, almost any big-game tilt in the NFC playoffs featured either the San Francisco 49ers or the Dallas Cowboys. Or both.
The stakes in this head-to-head aren’t as high as when these two signature franchises clashed last in the postseason, but their Wild Card matchup Sunday will be appointment viewing.
While other teams were resting and scheming for the playoffs in Week 18, San Francisco and Dallas both played it out for very different reasons.
San Fran gutted out an OT win over the Rams to punch their ticket into the postseason.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, had a playoff berth locked, but needed to get Dak Prescott and the offense right before stepping onto the playoff stage.
They’re currently pegged as 3-point home favorites at AT&T Stadium. It all gets underway at 4:30pm ET, and you can watch it live on CBS.
49ers vs Cowboys Odds
|San Francisco 49ers||+3 (-110)||+135||O 50.5 (-110)|
|Dallas Cowboys||-3 (-110)||-155||U 50.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Jan 15 at DraftKings
San Francisco 49ers Outlook
It definitely wasn’t his cleanest performance, but under the circumstances Jimmy Garoppolo put together one of his best games to get the Niners into the playoffs.
Playing with ligament damage in the thumb on his throwing hand, Jimmy G overcame two interceptions and rallied San Fran from down 17-0 to beat LA 27-24 in overtime.
— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) January 10, 2022
He went 23-for-32 for 316 yards and a TD toss, his lone score with 26 seconds left in regulation to Jauan Jennings after a masterful drive down the field.
The 49ers also got an incredible performance from do-everything receiver Deebo Samuel, who showcased the full arsenal against the Rams.
Samuel rushed eight times for 45 yards and a TD, caught four balls for 95 yards and connected with Jennings on a 24-yard touchdown strike off a gadget play.
WRBQB1 Deebo Samuel 😂
— ESPN (@espn) January 9, 2022
After a field goal with 6:46 left in the half put LA up 17, the Niners’ defense also stood strong, holding the potent Rams’ offense to seven points the rest of the way.
They were relentless against Matthew Stafford, collecting 13 QB hits, a pair of sacks and two interceptions.
The Niners are third in total yards allowed per game, and rank top-7 in both rush and pass yards allowed and their 48 sacks is tied for 5th-most in the NFL this season.
Dallas Cowboys Outlook
Even with the NFC East crown locked up, the Dallas Cowboys needed to find a groove in Week 18 as their offense looked out of tune in a 25-22 Week 17 loss to the Cardinals.
Dak Prescott on the Cowboys’ playoff opponent: “It doesn’t matter. Line em up. … Whoever it is, wherever it is, we’re ready for this run.” pic.twitter.com/mTGnQGNHvz
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 9, 2022
That mission was accomplished in spades, as Dallas pounded the Eagles 51-26 — the second time in three weeks they’ve went for 50+, after hanging 56 on the Washington Football Team in Week 16.
If it wasn’t already in the bag, Prescott put his final work into an NFL Comeback Player of the Year campaign, throwing for 295 yards and five touchdowns.
Dak’s 4,449 passing yards ranked seventh on the year, and 37 TD tosses was tied for fourth-best.
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) December 13, 2021
Zeke Elliott cracked 1,000 yards on the year with an 87-yard effort against the Eagles and he’ll need to pair with Tony Pollard to take some pressure off the pass game Sunday. All-pro tackle Tyron Smith has been battling knee and ankle ailments, but should be a go to.
The Dallas defense may not be statistically as impressive as the 49ers, but you could argue they’re even more dynamic. Led by young franchise cornerstones Micah Parsons and Treyvon Diggs, the Cowboys featured a defense that allowed just 21.1 point per game and led the league with 34 turnovers forced, and tied with the Colts for the NFL lead with a +14 turnover differential.
49ers vs Cowboys Pick
The big question is how much you believe in this rehabilitated Dallas offense.
If you take away the blowout wins, Dallas hasn’t scored more than 33 points in a game since Thanksgiving. The 49ers’ defense haven’t allowed more than 27 points just once in the last nine games.
However, if all those piled-up points aren’t a mirage, can San Francisco keep up the pace, and trust in Garoppolo to not make mistakes against the league’s most opportunistic defense? When Jimmy G is INT-free, the Niners are 7-0 but crater to 2-6 when he tosses at least one interception.
Dallas is 5-1 ATS in their last six, and an impressive 13-4 ATS on the season, while the 49ers have also been a good hit, going 4-1 ATS in their last five, though they are 1-6 in their last seven against Dallas.
Pick: Cowboys ML (1.75 units to win 1.24 units)
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgeable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.