49ers–Cowboys rivalry

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San Francisco 49ers-Dallas Cowboys
San Francisco 49ers wordmark.svg
San Francisco 49ers
Cowboys wordmark.svg
Dallas Cowboys
First meetingNovember 20, 1960
49ers 26, Cowboys 14
Latest meetingJanuary 16, 2022
49ers 23, Cowboys 17
Next meetingTBA, tentative 2023
Statistics
Meetings total38
All-time seriesCowboys, 19–18–1
Postseason resultsCowboys, 5–3
Most recent
January 16, 2022
San Francisco 49ers 23, Dallas Cowboys 17
Largest victoryCowboys, 59–14 (1980)
Current win streak49ers, 1 (2022–present)
Championship success during tenure of rivalry
Super Bowl titles (10)

NFC Championships (15)

The 49ers–Cowboys rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys lead the series 19–18–1. 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[1] while the NFL Top 10 ranked this rivalry to be the tenth best in the NFL. The rivalry was also the subject of two 2015 episodes of NFL Network's The Timeline entitled "A Tale of Two Cities" with actors Sam Elliott (Cowboys) and Jeremy Renner (49ers) as narrators.

History[edit]

The rivalry between the Cowboys and 49ers has been going on since the 1970s, including eight 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 from 1992 to 1994 when the two teams faced each other in the NFC Championship Game during all three seasons. Dallas won the first two match-ups while San Francisco won the third, and in each of these pivotal match-ups, the game's victor went on to win the Super Bowl. With the Cowboys winning the Super Bowl following the 1995 season, from 1992 to 1995, either the Cowboys or the 49ers were Super Bowl champions, giving both teams five each – which, at the time, was tied for the most by any NFL team (currently, both teams are tied for third behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots with six each).

The rivalry went cold for many years due to the two teams’ inability to make the postseason in the same year after 1998 and until 2021, when both teams made the playoffs and were matched against each other in the Wild Card Round in Dallas. The 49ers won that game 23-17.

Players who have won championships with both teams include defensive end Charles Haley, linebacker Ken Norton Jr. and cornerback Deion Sanders.

Game results[edit]

San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys Season-by-Season Results
1960s (49ers, 3–1–1)
Season Results Location Overall series Notes
1960 49ers
26–14
Cotton Bowl 49ers
1–0
Cowboys' inaugural season. This loss was the Cowboys' ninth of ten straight losses to start the season.
1963 49ers
31–24
Kezar Stadium 49ers
2–0
1965 Cowboys
39–31
Cotton Bowl 49ers
2–1
1967 49ers
24–16
Kezar Stadium 49ers
3–1
1969 Tie
24–24
Cotton Bowl 49ers
3–1–1
Only meeting to end in a tie to date.
1970s (Cowboys, 6–1)
Season Results Location Overall series Notes
1970 playoffs Cowboys
17–10
Kezar Stadium 49ers
3–2–1
NFC Championship Game. First postseason meeting in the series. Cowboys lose Super Bowl V.
1971 playoffs Cowboys
14–3
Texas Stadium Tie
3–3–1
Second straight NFC Championship Game meeting. First start in series for Roger Staubach. First meeting in Texas Stadium. Cowboys win Super Bowl VI.
1972 49ers
31–10
Texas Stadium 49ers
4–3–1
1972 playoffs Cowboys
30–28
Candlestick Park Tie
4–4–1
NFC Divisional playoffs. First meeting at Candlestick Park. Cowboys overcome 21–3 deficit and a 28–13 deficit in the fourth quarter to win.
1974 Cowboys
20–14
Texas Stadium Cowboys
5–4–1
Cowboys take first lead in the series.
1977 Cowboys
42–35
Candlestick Park Cowboys
6–4–1
Cowboys win Super Bowl XII.
1979 Cowboys
21–13
Candlestick Park Cowboys
7–4–1
Last start in the series for Roger Staubach.
1980s (49ers, 5–1)
Season Results Location Overall series Notes
1980 Cowboys
59–14
Texas Stadium Cowboys
8–4–1
1981 49ers
45–14
Candlestick Park Cowboys
8–5–1
First start in the series for Joe Montana.
1981 playoffs 49ers
28–27
Candlestick Park Cowboys
8–6–1
NFC Championship Game. First postseason win for the 49ers over the Cowboys. Wide receiver Dwight Clark makes a leaping catch in the back of the end zone on a pass from Joe Montana with 51 seconds left, best referred to as "The Catch". 49ers win Super Bowl XVI.
1983 49ers
42–17
Candlestick Park Cowboys
8–7–1
1985 49ers
31–16
Candlestick Park Tie
8–8–1
1989 49ers
31–14
Texas Stadium 49ers
9–8–1
49ers win Super Bowl XXIV. 49ers take first series lead since 1972.
1990s (49ers, 5–4)
Season Results Location Overall series Notes
1990 49ers
24–6
Texas Stadium 49ers
10–8–1
First start in series for Troy Aikman. Last start in series for Joe Montana.
1992 playoffs Cowboys
30–20
Candlestick Park 49ers
10–9–1
NFC Championship Game. Cowboys win Super Bowl XXVII. After the game, Cowboys' head coach Jimmy Johnson was caught saying "How Bout Them Cowboys" in their postgame locker room. Currently last road playoff win for the Cowboys.
1993 Cowboys
26–17
Texas Stadium Tie
10–10–1
1993 playoffs Cowboys
38–21
Texas Stadium Cowboys
11–10–1
Second straight NFC Championship Game meeting. Cowboys win Super Bowl XXVIII.
1994 49ers
21–14
Candlestick Park Tie
11–11–1
1994 playoffs 49ers
38–28
Candlestick Park 49ers
12–11–1
Third straight NFC Championship Game meeting. 49ers win Super Bowl XXIX.
1995 49ers
38–20
Texas Stadium 49ers
13–11–1
Cowboys win Super Bowl XXX.
1996 Cowboys
20–17(OT)
3Com Park 49ers
13–12–1
1997 49ers
27–10
3Com Park 49ers
14–12–1
Last start in the series for Steve Young. Last home victory for the 49ers to date in the series.
2000s (Cowboys, 3–2)
Season Results Location Overall series Notes
2000 49ers
41–24
Texas Stadium 49ers
15–12–1
Last start in the series for Troy Aikman.
2001 Cowboys
27–21
Texas Stadium 49ers
15–13–1
2002 49ers
31–27
Texas Stadium 49ers
16–13–1
2005 Cowboys
34–31
Monster Park 49ers
16–14–1
2008 Cowboys
35–22
Texas Stadium 49ers
16–15–1
Last meeting in Texas Stadium.
2010s (Cowboys, 3–1)
Season Results Location Overall series Notes
2011 Cowboys
27–24 (OT)
Candlestick Park Tie
16–16–1
Last meeting in Candlestick Park.
2014 49ers
28–17
AT&T Stadium 49ers
17–16–1
First meeting at AT&T Stadium.
2016 Cowboys
24–17
Levi's Stadium Tie
17–17–1
First meeting at Levi's Stadium.
2017 Cowboys
40–10
Levi's Stadium Cowboys
18–17–1
Cowboys take first lead in the series since winning the 1993 NFC Championship Game.
2020s (Tied 1–1)
Season Results Location Overall series Notes
2020 Cowboys
41–33
AT&T Stadium Cowboys
19–17–1
Limited fans in attendance due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 49ers were eliminated from postseason contention with this loss, coupled with a win by the Cardinals.
2021 playoffs 49ers
23–17
AT&T Stadium Cowboys
19–18–1
NFC Wild Card playoffs. First playoff meeting since 1994.
2023 Levi's Stadium
Summary of Results
Season Season series at San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys Notes
Regular season 49ers 15–14–1 Tie 7–7 49ers 8–7–1
Postseason Cowboys 5–3 Cowboys 3–2 Cowboys 2–1 NFC Wild Card playoffs: 2021. NFC Divisional playoffs: 1972. NFC Championship Game: 1970–1971, 1981, 1992–1994.
Regular and postseason Cowboys 19–18–1 Cowboys 10–9 Tie 9–9–1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2013-09-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)