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Golden Nuggets: One sleep away

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Saturday, January 21st, 2022

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Hutchinson: 49ers-Cowboys Injuries: Veteran tackle out, Garoppolo increasing involvement

“Peters’ absence will have the Cowboys shift back to an offensive line they employed plenty this season, but it’ll take a wrinkle out of their playbook....Rookie Tyler Smith will shift from left guard to left tackle and Connor McGovern, who has been employed in an objectively funny big man fullback role, will slot in at left guard. Peters, despite his age, had clearly impacted the line in a positive way...The two Ty. Smiths (Tyler and Tyron) bookending the Cowboys line will have a major task in facing Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead company.”

Kawakami: Quick thoughts on the Warriors’ deadline pressures and the 49ers’ big challenge (paywall)

“But unless he totally unravels, it’s pretty clear that Purdy’s seven-game stretch has proven that he’s the 49ers’ best QB option into the future. Actually, I’m pretty sure the 49ers’ brass decided that a while ago (my guess: right after the victory in Seattle, judging by the looks on several executives’ faces that night).”

49ers vs. Cowboys: Improved offensive line is gearing up for biggest test yet (paywall)

“Dallas has yielded 54 sacks from these pressures, the league’s third-highest total. Though the Cowboys no longer have Randy Gregory, the edge rusher whose hit injured the shoulder of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in last season’s wild-card playoff clash between the two teams (Gregory left in free agency to Denver), they’re poised to be the stiffest challenge that San Francisco’s O-line has faced.”

DeMeco Ryans’ second year as coordinator has been a boon for him and the 49ers (paywall)

“The 49ers said they can hear the improvement in their headsets. That is, there’s been a sense this season that Ryans knows what the offense is about to do, which has allowed his defenders to be the aggressors when the ball is snapped. “It’s pretty cool to hear him,” said Warner, the team’s middle linebacker and the player who relays Ryans’ play calls to the rest of the defense. “Sometimes he’ll be telling me, ‘This will be a run’ or, ‘They’re doing this on this play.’ You can tell he’s obviously very dialed in during the week in his preparation and knowing exactly what the offense is going to run.”

NFL playoff predictions: 5 coaches, execs predict divisional-round winners (paywall)

“Cowboys in a huge upset,” a coach said. “The Cowboys defense will stop the run and confuse the rookie QB.”

There might be more talent on the field in this game than the other three over the weekend.

“The Cowboys are explosive,” said a coach who picked the 49ers. “I think Kyle will know how to attack Dan’s defense and create plays.”

Brent Jones: ‘I’ve never seen’ anything like Brock Purdy

“When I hear that I think of game manager and Brock Purdy has been anything but,” Jones said. “He really has been anything but. The 49ers have called plenty of pass plays. They’ve done multiple things reaching deep into the playbook. It has not bothered him one iota. So I understand what firms saying but I also think part of this kid’s success has been times where he’s been aggressive.”

Silver: Debate it if you must, but the 49ers’ starting QB in 2023 is Brock Purdy (paywall)

“On Thursday, I talked to two people with knowledge of the organization’s plans, and they confirmed what is already semi-obvious: The battle is over, and Purdy has won....The 49ers may go through the motions of staging an offseason competition between Purdy and Lance, the No. 3 pick in the 2021 draft. They may even decide to extend it through training camp and the preseason. Realistically, however, this is not an equal fight. Purdy has earned Shanahan’s trust and confidence in a manner that Lance has not, and practice reps and preseason performances aren’t changing that......It turns out that Purdy, who had far more game experience during his college career, was ready for the moment in a way that Lance wasn’t. Hey, it happens. The good news, for the Niners, is that they can continue to develop Lance as Purdy’s backup — he has two years left on his rookie deal, with a decision on exercising his fifth-year option more than a year away — while maintaining an enviable salary structure conducive to competing for championships with the league’s most loaded roster.”