“Matt Barrows: One of the big plays in the recent playoff game between these teams came when then-nickel cornerback Jimmie Ward deflected a Dak Prescott pass to Fred Warner for an interception. It seems like that nickel spot will be critical Sunday, too. For one, that’s where Dallas’ top receiver, CeeDee Lamb, likes to line up. And it’s where the 49ers are having a bit of an identity crisis. Will Lamb be going against Isaiah Oliver or Deommodore Lenoir? And if it is Lenoir, will that mean Ambry Thomas is on the field? It seems like something the Cowboys can exploit and might result in the final score being higher than it’s been in recent years.”
“The only other player on the injury report is offensive lineman Jon Feliciano, who is questionable as he works through concussion protocol.”
“Gregory joined his new teammates on Friday and attended practice before heading back to Denver to gather his belongings, Shanahan said.”
“It’s a combination of a lot,” McCaffrey said. “I think it’s a mindset, it’s having extremely good instincts, vision and it’s comfort in the offense too. You watch him, he’s good at not just taking big hits but I think when you watch him, he knows when to deliver big hits too and be the hammer, not the nail.
“He was such a great back for so long because of that. He had all of the intangibles but the instincts and the things that are hard to teach, he had all of those things.”
“It’s not hard to locate him because we all know his number and we know who that guy is. We know exactly where he is,” Shanahan said. “The hard thing is, you want to make sure really good players don’t mess the game up. If you ignore them, the odds are they really are. They’re gonna affect the game huge just going back to Aaron Donald and stuff like that.
“But it’s really hard to put together a schematic game plan when you don’t know where he’s going to be till you break the huddle. Because you can’t just take two guys to somebody all the time. There’s too many issues and they know exactly what they’re doing with fronts and things like that, when to move him, where to move him, how to get them on certain people, how to make it really tough for you to help them. If you try to cover everything, your quarterback and your offense are going to be frozen because you’re going to have to change every single play every single time, which then no one’s coming off the ball and really playing good football.”
“You look into all that stuff always, but you always judge a guy when you get to know him and it’s our first time to do it. But also there’s a lot of people I know really well that speak extremely high of him and it’s very consistent. So I’m excited about the person we got, the character of the guy, from what I’ve been told from everyone who knows him. And we love the tape. I know he has messed up at times in the past, but from the type of person I’ve been told that he is, we’re really excited to have him here.”
“Dallas wide receiver CeeDee Lamb’s route-running ability and deep speed would appear to provide him with a big advantage if he’s working against Oliver out of the slot. Lamb has caught nine passes for 125 yards while lined up in the slot, and Oliver has given up 15 competitions on the 20 passes thrown his way.”
“Most of those players were not born or were infants and toddlers for those 1990s playoff meetings, but the history of the rivalry has been ingrained and reinforced by the atmosphere surrounding the past two playoff matchups.”