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49ers in Five: Shanahan facing a familiar face is why the Cowboys won’t slow down the Niners

Although Shanahan said this coach has changed his ways since the last time they faced off

Everything you need to know in five minutes

One of the many storylines going into the game against the Cowboys is that Kyle Shanahan will face his former boss in Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. While you might think that gives Kyle Shanahan an advantage in the matchup, Shanahan says Quinn has changed his scheme since their Falcons days.

“It’s still his style. They play the exact same way and it’s very obvious when you see them on tape, and that’s the coolest thing about Dan. Just coverage-wise and stuff it’s very different. Not as much cover 3 and the type of man coverages they’re doing, it’s impressive. For Dan to do it a certain way his whole career and then to make the adjustments - probably because of his personnel - to stuff he wants to add. It looks like his first time doing it, at least since I’ve known him. It’s definitely been very good, and it’s hard to deal with, but who he is doesn’t change.”

The Cowboys' defense thrives on turning over their opponents. They lead the league in takeaways (34) and interceptions (26). However, if they aren’t taking the ball away, Dan Quinn’s defense can be vulnerable.

This season, there were four games where the Cowboys failed to produce a turnover. Those games came against Minnesota, Denver, Las Vegas, and Arizona. In those four games, the Cowboys went 1-3, allowed 26 points per game, and allowed 398 yards per game. Basically, if the 49ers don’t shoot themselves in the foot, they’re going to be able to move the ball.

That isn’t exactly revolutionary, I know, but it goes to the point that the Cowboys’ defense probably isn’t as good as it looks on paper. Especially when you factor in the quarterbacks that the defense has faced recently.

Needless to say, that is a pretty pathetic list.

Now, we all know the 49ers have had many stretches this season where they haven’t been able to do diddly-poo offensively. Just last week, they had 22 total yards before their final drive in the first half. That said, the deeper you dig into the Dallas defense, the clearer it becomes that the only thing that will stop the 49ers is themselves.

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