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49ers vs. Cowboys: A prospector's guide

We take a look at pertinent facts, figures and history in the 49ers Week 1 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.

Jed Jacobsohn

Welcome back to football! For those that are new to the site, the "prospector's guide" is something first started her ein 2008. You can check out the very first one way back when. It's a very basic intro to the game with an intro, series highlights, notable performances by 49ers against that week's opponent, and a statistical comparison. The stats comparison is kind of outdated to some extent, as it focuses primarily on counting stats. But it's fun, and we get to advanced stats in other posts during the week.

The San Francisco 49ers open their 2014 regular season schedule on Sunday when they travel to face the Dallas Cowboys. It has been a long offseason, highlighted by a little too much off-the-field drama. That stuff is not over, but at least for Sunday, we can finally focus on a real football game that actually matters. I don't know about you, but it will be a bit of a welcome respite.

The 49ers and Seahawks are the biggest rivalry in the NFL right now, but Cowboys remain the 49ers biggest historical rival. The rivalry has been on the back-burner to some extent since the turn of the century as one or both teams has been up and down much of that time. The teams have met once every three years with the intra-conference divisional schedule. The rivalry developed because of playoff matchups, but the two teams have not met in the playoffs since the 49ers defeated them in the 1995 NFC Championship Game. That marked the third straight year the two of them had met in the conference championship game.

The Cowboys have claimed the last three games with two of them coming down to a field goal difference. The 49ers lost 27-24 in a Week 2 overtime heartbreaker at Candlestick Park in 2011. The 49ers bounced back though to finish 13-3 and advance to the NFC title game. Three years later, the 49ers remain among the favorites to the Super Bowl, while the Cowboys are just looking to make the playoffs in spite of an awful defense.

On to the random information you crave!

Series Highlights
Matchups: 33
Series Record: Series is tied 16-16-1
49ers Away Record vs. Cowboys: Cowboys lead series 8-7-1
First Meeting: 11/20/60, 49ers win 26-14, at Dal.
Last Meeting: 9/18/11, Cowboys win 27-24 (OT), at SF
Current Streak: Lost 3
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 6 (10/11/81 - 11/11/90)
Longest Cowboys Win Streak: 5 (12/23/72 - 10/12/80)
Most 49ers Points: 45 (10/11/81): 49ers win 45-14, at SF
Most Cowboys Points: 59 (10/12/80): Cowboys win 59-14, at Dal.
49ers Shutouts: None
Cowboys Shutouts: None


  • Intercepted a pass by Cowboys QB Tony Romo, which led to a 29-yd. TD pass from QB Alex Smith to TE Delanie Walker on the next play vs. Dal. (9/18/11).


  • Tallied 4 recepts. for a game-high 142 yds. and 2 TDs vs. Dal. (9/25/05). It marked his first career game with 100+ rec. yds. and his first career game with multiple TD receptions


  • Recorded 7 tackles and 1 FF vs. Dal. (9/18/11)

2013 Statistics

49ERS (rank) COWBOYS (rank)
12-4 (2nd NFCW) Record 8-8 (2nd NFCE)
25.4 (11th) Points per game 27.4 (5th)
323.8 (24th) Total Offense 341.1 (16th)
137.6 (3rd) Rushing Offense 94.0 (24th)
186.2 (30th) Passing Offense 247.1 (14th)
30:35 (11th) Possession Avg 29:02 (26th)
17.0 (3rd) Points allowed/gm 27.0 (26th)
316.9 (5th) Total Defense 415.3 (32nd)
95.9 (4th) Rushing Defense 128.5 (27th)
221.0 (7th) Passing Defense 286.8 (30th)
38 (t-18th) Sacks 34 (t-25th)
48.2 (2nd) Punting Avg (Gross) 45.0 (18th)
+12 (t-4th) Turnover Differential +8 (t-9th)