|First contested||November 20, 1960
San Francisco 49ers 26, Dallas Cowboys 14
|Most recent meeting||September 7, 2014
San Francisco 49ers 28, Dallas Cowboys 17
|Next meeting||2017 (next guaranteed meeting; could meet sooner)|
|Number of meetings||34|
|All-time series||San Francisco 49ers 17-16-1|
Dallas Cowboys lead 5-2
Dallas Cowboys 28, San Francisco 49ers 38
|Largest victory||San Francisco 49ers 14, Dallas Cowboys 59 (1980)|
|Current win streak||San Francisco 49ers, 1 win (2014)|
|Championship success during tenure of rivalry|
Super Bowl titles (10)
NFC Championships (14)
Super Bowl appearances (14)
The 49ers–Cowboys rivalry is a rivalry in the NFL between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. The San Francisco 49ers lead the series 17-16-1. It is one of the great inter-division rivalry games in the NFL. The two teams do not play every year; instead, they play once every three years due to the NFL's rotating division schedules, or if the two teams finish in the same place in their respective divisions, they would play the ensuing season. Sports Illustrated ranked it as the eighth best rivalry while the NFL Top 10 ranked this rivalry to be the tenth best in the NFL.
The bitter rivalry between the Cowboys and 49ers has been going on since the 1970s, including seven postseason games. The Cowboys defeated the 49ers in the 1970 and 1971 NFC Championship games, and again in the 1972 Divisional Playoff Game. The 1981 NFC Championship Game in San Francisco, which saw the 49ers' Joe Montana complete a game-winning pass to Dwight Clark in the final minute (now known as The Catch) is one of the most famous games in NFL history. The rivalry became even more intense during the 1992–1994 seasons. San Francisco and Dallas faced each other in the NFC Championship Game three consecutive times. Dallas won the first two match-ups, and San Francisco won the third. In each of these pivotal match-ups, the game's victor went on to win the Super Bowl. Both the Cowboys and the 49ers are second all time in Super Bowl victories to the Pittsburgh Steelers with five each.
The Catch refers to the winning touchdown reception by Dwight Clark off a Joe Montana pass in the January 10, 1982, NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. The Catch is widely regarded as one of the most memorable events in NFL history.