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5 players to watch on Sunday: All eyes on the right side of the offensive line

Expect the Cowboys to challenge the 49ers nickel cornerback

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

We’ve got the 49ers versus Dallas on Sunday Night Football. It’s a rematch of last year’s divisional game. All eyes are on this historic rivalry. Both teams have stars. Here are five players to watch and need to step up for the 49ers:

Spencer Burford

Burford had his best game of the season on Sunday against Arizona. However, his overall pass-blocking grade on the year still sits at 14.1. Taking it a step further, in true pass sets, Burford’s grade drops to 8.5. It will be interesting to see Burford take on stunts from the Cowboys defensive line on Sunday.

To be fair, it is only four games, and Burford has a chance to grow and develop, but it has to start on Sunday.

Colton McKivitz

Speaking of the right side of the offensive line. McKivitz will be tasked with slowing down Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence. Parsons will battle with Trent Williams at times, but you have to believe Dallas will be intent on matching Parsons up with McKivitz.

Week 5 and 6 will see McKivitz face Parsons and Myles Garrett consecutively. Per Sports Info Solutions, Parsons (27.8) and Garrett (25.3) rank one and two in the NFL in pressure rate. Big test for the starting RT.

Nick Bosa

Bosa is the highest-graded EDGE defender in the NFL, per PFF. Tyron Smith is “iffy” at best for Sunday. Bosa has to dominate with Chuma Edoga and Terence Steele at tackle. Twenty pressures, nine QB hits, and ten hurries indicate Bosa is still dominant. One sack is the only number that is down.

Dak Prescott’s completion percentage plummets from 75 percent to 59.4 percent under pressure.

Isaiah Oliver

CeeDee Lamb runs 72.4 percent of his routes out of the slot. The 49ers will likely disguise looks with zone or have Fred Warner carry Lamb up the seam. Oliver’s coverage grade sits at 67.9, which is good for fourth best on the 49ers.

Oliver has allowed 15 catches on 20 targets, but only 6.1 yards per reception. The emphasis of the secondary is to avoid explosives and rally to the ball. If Oliver can limit Lamb’s yards after catch, the Dallas offense will be much easier to deal with.

George Kittle

Kittle will likely have to help a bit in pass protection, but as evidenced by his performance in the divisional round against Dallas last season, Kittle needs to contribute in the passing game. The blocking is a given, especially in the run game, but a big Kittle performance on Sunday will make this already potent offense even better.

Get Kittle involved on Sunday!