Ranking All 8 Dallas Cowboys-San Francisco 49ers Games in the Post Season
This weekend is the 9th meeting all-time in the playoffs between the Cowboys and 49ers with the Cowboys leading that series 5-3, how will it work out this weekend is yet to be seen but here are the past 8 meetings ranked from #8-#1.
8. 1971 NFC Championship - Cowboys 14, 49ers 3 [Texas Stadium]
This was not the most impressive game with only 17 combined points scored. The difference in this one was the running game of Dallas, three forced turnovers, and two touchdowns. The "Doomsday Defense" picked off QB John Brodie three times while the 49ers' defense did get 3.5 sacks on Roger Staubach, but the Cowboys went on to win Super Bowl VI against the Miami Dolphins after losing Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts, one year earlier.
7. 1970 NFC Championship - Cowboys 17, 49ers 10 [Kezar Stadium]
This was the first-ever NFC Championship after the AFL-NFL Merger of 1970 and the first playoff meeting between the Cowboys and 49ers. 49ers QB John Brodie threw for 262 yards, 161 more yards than Craig Morton of the Cowboys had at 101. But Brodie's two interceptions proved to be the demise of the 49ers in front of their own fans in San Francisco. The Cowboys' offense was great thanks to Duane Thomas' 143 yards rushing including a 13-yard touchdown run.
6. 2021 Wild Card Playoff - 49ers 23, Cowboys 17 [AT&T Stadium]
A close game but San Francisco dominated most of the game until the 4th quarter when the Cowboys scored twice to get the game within 6 points. Dallas had the chance to complete the comeback after getting the ball on their own 20 with 32 seconds left but time ran out after Dak Prescott made a 17-yard run and failed to get the ball spiked.
5. 1993 NFC Championship - Cowboys 38, 49ers 21 [Texas Stadium]
Jimmy Johnson was on the way to dinner when he overheard a local radio station debating whether the Cowboys could win back-to-back NFC title games and called into the show and stated, "We will win the ball game, and you can put it in three-inch headlines. We will win the ball game." That of course made national headlines and Johnson assured his players they could get it done. The Cowboys delivered by getting a 28-7 lead in the game even though Troy Aikman was knocked out of the game due to a concussion. Bernie Kosar came in and delivered a third-quarter touchdown to Alvin Harper to seal the deal. The Cowboys' offense was led by Emmitt Smith, who was the MVP that season, and had two touchdowns in the game while having as many receiving yards as he did rushing yards (85 to 88 respectively).
4. 1972 Divisional Playoff - Cowboys 30, 49ers 28 [Candlestick Park]
The Cowboys had defeated the 49ers in the past two NFC Championship Games but during the regular season in 1972, the 49ers had taken the Cowboys to task in a 31-10 defeat. The divisional game looked like it would be a repeat of the regular season when the 49ers had a lead in the third quarter 28-13. But Roger Staubach dominated the fourth quarter by putting together three scoring drives including the game-winning touchdown pass to Ron Sellars. That was one of 23 career fourth-quarter comeback wins, which earned Staubach the nickname "Captain Comeback."
3. 1994 NFC Championship - 49ers 38, Cowboys 28 [Candlestick Park]
The 49ers started off with a 21-0 lead as a result of two forced turnovers but Dallas cut the lead to 24-14 before Steve Young hit Jerry Rice with a 44-yard pass right before halftime. The Cowboys tried to minimize the lead the 49ers had on them but couldn't muster up the points to go to a third consecutive Super Bowl which has still never been done in the NFL. Emmitt Smith was playing through an injury and Michael Irvin was on fire catching 12 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns but it wasn't enough to beat the 49ers. Steve Young sealed the game with a 3-yard touchdown run to go to their fifth Super Bowl and beat the San Diego Chargers.
2. 1992 NFC Championship - Cowboys 30, 49ers 20 [Candlestick Park]
This was the game that paved the way for the Cowboys to become the team of the 90s. The Cowboys lead 24-20 after Steve Young threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Rice in the fourth quarter. Dallas did not go conservative and went for the win when Alvin Harper took a slant pass 70 yards to set up a game-clinching touchdown pass from Troy Aikman to Kelvin Martin. Emmitt Smith was stellar on a muddy field with 173 yards and two touchdowns. Dallas went on to Super Bowl XXVII to beat the Buffalo Bills 52-17 for the first championship since 1977 for the Cowboys.
1. 1981 NFC Championship 49ers 28, Cowboys 27 [Candlestick Park]
Yes indeed, you should have known the game that featured "The Catch" would be #1, but in case you forgot it, here is how it went. Dallas pulled ahead in the fourth quarter on a Danny White 21-yard touchdown pass to Doug Cosbie to put Dallas up 27-21 with 10:41 left in the game. With 4:54 left in the game, Joe Montana led the 49ers on an 89-yard drive that heavily featured running back Lenvil Elliott. Facing third and 3 with 58 seconds left in the game, Joe Montana rolled right only to be met by three Cowboys defenders, so Montana threw the ball toward the back of the end zone hoping Dwight Clark would be there to catch it, which of course he was and the pass was caught over defensive back Everson Walls. "The Catch" was enough to upset a 4-year-old 49ers fan named Tom Brady who was present with his parents at the historic game.
The game and the event in a game Cowboys fans to this day cringe when they hear. "The Catch," will once again be forefront in the days leading up to the game. All we can do is hope that there will not be another one in this game unless it is a Cowboys receiver catching the game-winning pass with no time left on the clock to win the game against the 49ers.