Two of probably the most storied franchises within the NFL will meet within the Divisional Spherical when the Dallas Cowboys journey to San Francisco to tackle the 49ers
Dallas Cowboys (12-5) @ San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
- Location: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA
- Time: Sunday, January twenty second at 6:30 p.m. ET
- Channel: FOX
- Unfold: SF -4
- Moneyline: SF (-195), DAL (+165)
- Over/Underneath: 46
These two groups met within the Wild Card spherical final season with Dallas falling 23-17 after they failed to rise up and clock the ball towards the top of the sport. The 49ers would advance to the NFC Championship recreation earlier than dropping to the eventual Tremendous Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams.
The Cowboys additionally limped into the playoffs after three subpar showings, together with a brutal Week 18 loss to a Washington Commanders group led by rookie Sam Howell, who was making his NFL debut. Nonetheless, they rebounded effectively towards Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, successful 31-14.
Dak Prescott regarded sharp, and the sport was by no means significantly shut, although kicker Brett Maher missed 4 straight additional factors. Nonetheless, the query is whether or not that efficiency was a sign of how good Dallas is or how unhealthy Tampa was, contemplating the Bucs got here into the playoffs with a dropping report.
Dallas can have a a lot stiffer check towards San Francisco within the Divisional Spherical. The 49ers have received 11 straight video games and are one among solely three groups within the NFL that rank within the high six in all of Soccer Outsiders’ Whole DVOA, Weighted DVOA, Offense DVOA, and Protection DVOA. The Payments and Eagles have been the opposite two.
One might argue that there is no such thing as a hotter group within the NFL than the 49ers. Since November twenty seventh they’ve solely had one recreation the place they scored fewer than 33 factors and that’s with a beginning quarterback who was the final choose within the 2022 NFL Draft.
By now, you’ve already heard about Brock Purdy, the previous Mr. Irrelevant who has been the middle of all discussions concerning the 49ers for the previous couple of weeks. He was large in his first-ever playoff recreation, throwing three landing passes and working for a fourth rating whereas main the 49ers to a 41-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in final Saturday’s wild-card recreation.
Nonetheless, nearly as good as Purdy has been, a lot of his success could be attributed to the gathering of playmakers he has on offense with Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel. Even Purdy himself mentioned after the Seahawks recreation, “I have to do my job, get it to the guys in space and go from there.”
If Dallas goes to cease these playmakers from ripping off huge chunks of yardage in area, they’re going to want rather a lot from Micah Parsons, who is likely one of the league’s brightest stars. The Cowboys use him all around the entrance seven to wreak havoc on opposing offenses, and it labored.
Dallas was a top-five unit, in accordance to DVOA, throughout the board through the common season. Nonetheless, they struggled to shut the common season. They allowed 442 yards to Gardner Minshew and the Eagles, then allowed 317 yards to Joshua Dobbs and the Titans with out Derrick Henry, after which allowed 309 yards to Sam Howell and the Commanders.
The 49ers have the Sixth-best offense by DVOA and Third-best passing offense, so Dallas will want to do higher if they’ve any likelihood of pulling this out.
Regardless of having a robust protection, the Cowboys are sixteenth within the NFL in yards allowed per completion, in order that they have given up their justifiable share of massive performs. Nonetheless, they’re additionally the primary protection within the NFL when it comes to turnover price, so their opportunistic protection can usually bail them out of bother.
There’s just one situation. The second-best turnover protection within the NFL is the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers are the primary ranked protection primarily based on DVOA, which may very well be a problem for a Cowboys offense that hasn’t been explosive this 12 months and appears to miss Amari Cooper. CeeDee Lamb actually regarded like a star number-one receiver at instances, however Michael Gallup’s manufacturing by no means obtained going after making his return from a torn ACL in the midst of the season.
Dalton Schultz is the group’s second-best receiving possibility with 57 receptions for 577 yards and 5 touchdowns, however the next-best receiver is Noah Brown, who had 43 grabs for 555 yards, and three touchdowns. That’s not a very intimidating group.
Prescott himself struggled on the finish of the common season, throwing at least one interception in each of the last seven regular season video games and eight whole picks within the final 5 video games of the common season. He was ready to escape the Tampa recreation with none hurt, however the Bucs additionally ranked twenty second within the NFL in turnover price and twenty fourth in whole interceptions, so they don’t seem to be the unit that the 49ers are.
On the season, Dallas ranks fifteenth in offensive DVOA on the season, and the point of interest of their offense is the run recreation, that includes Ezekiel Elliott and the more explosive Tony Pollard.
Pollard went over 1,000 yards on the season, ending with 1,007 yards and 9 touchdowns. He additionally had three 100-yard performances through the season whereas Elliott had none. Collectively, they’d 1,883 yards on the bottom through the season but were only able to manage 104 yards against the Bucs on 28 carries for 3.7 yards.
That’s simply not going to reduce it on Sunday evening, so until Dallas can get rather a lot more out of their working recreation, it’s onerous to see them placing up a number of factors towards this 49ers protection.
Prediction and Betting Choose:
This recreation is a bit of too shut for me on the unfold, however I do just like the UNDER right here.