The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys playoff rivalry runs deep. Combined, they have won ten Super Bowls. They met on Sunday for the first time in the postseason since 1995. And they didn't disappoint.
The 49ers (11-7) held on after a fast and furious Cowboys rally to win 23-17 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The 49ers win was the first for a road team thus far in the playoffs. They advance to the NFC Divisional Round to face the No. 1 seed, the Green Bay Packers.
After a Jimmy Garoppolo interception, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott led his team down the field. Prescott took matters into his own hands when the Cowboys approached the goal line and ran for a five-yard TD to make it a 23-17 game. After each team had a possession, the game came down to the Cowboys having to drive 75 yards to win the game with 32 seconds remaining. Prescott led the Cowboys to the 49ers 40-yard line with 14 seconds to go. Prescott inexplicably ran a quarterback sneak in the middle of the field. Instead of sliding early and spiking the ball to give the Cowboys a shot at the end zone, he kept going, finally sliding to the 24-yard line. The Cowboys (12-6) had no timeouts left to stop the clock. They ran up to spike the ball. The umpire bumped into Prescott in an attempt to set the ball. Right as the Cowboys got set, time expired, and the 49ers pulled off the upset.
With 0:14 seconds, Prescott runs for a 20-yard quarterback sneak to the 49ers 25-yard line. Time is running out as they try to line up. The umpire needs to touch ball. He runs into the center, fumbles the ball. The center gets the ball to Prescott but it's too late as time runs and the 49ers win 23-17. Unbelievable way to end the game. What was Prescott thinking there? Not the play to run with little time left and needing a touchdown to win the game.
On fourth-and-11, the 49ers bring house and force Prescott to make an off-balance throw that hits the hands of Wilson but he couldn't hang on and the ball goes back to the 49ers. Not much time left for the Cowboys.
On third-and-seven, Garoppolo throws to Samuel but Kyle VanderEsch stuffs him to prevent the first down and force a punt. Big-time play by the leader of the defense. 23-17 49ers with 2:42 remaining. Here we go!
Greg Zuerlein makes a 51-yard field goal to trim the lead to 23-10 49ers. Have to question why head coach Mike McCarthy didn't go for it on fourth-and-five in a two-score game. Nothing is gained with a field goal as it still remains a two-score game.
On the very first play after the interception, Samuel speeds to the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. The 49ers are up 23-7 late in the third quarter. What a turn of events. Could the Cowboys season be over?
For the first time in the game, the Cowboys force a punt after making Garoppolo throw it away on a third-and-two. A monumental moment for the Cowboys on this upcoming drive. Need some type of points here to stay within striking distance.
They had a manageable third-and-four, the Cowboys' offensive line commits two inexcusable false starts to make it third-and-14. Then Prescott gets sacked for a six-yard loss. Mental lapses you CANNOT make.