NEW 49ers NFL Draft Hats Available Now! →
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan sees improved Cowboys team as 49ers prepare for playoff rematch

Jan 18, 2023 at 12:25 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers are preparing to host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. It's a rematch of last season's playoff meeting, which resulted in a 23-17 49ers victory. Some have argued that the Cowboys are very similar to that team that lost in the Wild Card Round last year and that the 49ers are improved, making San Francisco the clear favorite. Head coach Kyle Shanahan isn't listening to any of that. Instead, he was impressed by what he saw from Dallas during Monday night's rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"They're a good team," Shanahan told reporters before Wednesday's practice. "They've been that all year. They probably looked their best on Monday night, which you expected them to, just with the atmosphere and everything. They've been good for a while, and just watching them this week, it reminds me of their team from last year, only improved."

The Cowboys finished the regular season with the No. 10 ranked offense and was No. 3 in scoring. Their 24 rushing touchdowns as a team were second only to the Philadelphia Eagles (32).

Reflecting on last year's playoff win over the Cowboys, Shanahan focuses on the late-game mistakes that made the contest closer than it should have been. However, the coach acknowledges that last year's matchup has nothing to do with Sunday's game.

Dan Quinn, Shanahan's former boss in Atlanta, is the Cowboys' defensive coordinator. Shanahan has been impressed with the effort he has gotten out of the talented unit but doesn't believe the familiarity with Quinn's system gives the 49ers an advantage. The preparation process for planning against the Cowboys defense will be similar to other games.

Sunday will be a challenge.

"They've got some real good rushers," Shanahan admits. "Everyone knows about [DeMarcus] Lawrence and [Micah] Parsons, but there's not one bad one there. The way that they stunt, the way they can create one-on-ones, there's a reason they're number one in getting to the quarterback with sacks and pressures, and it does jump off the tape."

Quarterback Dak Prescott has had better seasons. His 15 interceptions tied with Davis Mills of the Houston Texans for the most in the league. However, Prescott threw four touchdowns in the 31-14 win against the Buccaneers on Monday night. The 49ers understand they can't underestimate anyone when in the postseason.

"Dak's always been a challenge," Shanahan acknowledged. "When you're a pure pocket passer who can make all the throws in there and read the defense real well and get the ball to the right spots and do it accurately, that's why he's had the career he's had. And when things do break down, he's got a knack for how to get out of that pocket and make some off-schedule plays. That's why he's had a successful career so far."

The 49ers and Cowboys kick off from Levi's Stadium on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. PT. The winner advances to the NFC Championship Game on January 29.


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

Kyle Shanahan, 49ers will have better idea of Brock Purdy recovery timeline in June

By David Bonilla
4 hrs

It could be six months. It could be eight months. The San Francisco 49ers don't have a clear picture right now regarding quarterback Brock Purdy's recovery timeline. They will have a better idea in June, though. That's when the second-year quarterback will begin throwing again and ramping up his workload for the remaining portion of his rehabilitation. Purdy underwent surgery to repair the tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow, an injury suffered on January 29 in the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. "He won't be able to do anything on the field for—who knows?" head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday morning from the NFL owners'

Are the 49ers interested in Lamar Jackson? Kyle Shanahan responds

By David Bonilla
4 hrs

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, understandably, was hesitant to field any questions about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. The coach holds the player in high esteem but doesn't want to get in trouble by discussing a player currently under contract with another organization. One reporter pressed, though, stating that he is asking every team about their interest in Jackson. "Everyone knows Lamar's skill set," Shanahan responded, hoping the reporter wasn't setting him up for a fine. "Lamar's a stud. I'm sure they'll work it out there. But Lamar's a great player." The reporter asked if there was any interest from the 49ers. "We've got three quarterbacks we're pretty good with right now," Shanahan responded, "and

Why Trey Lance faces uphill battle to win 49ers' starting job, per Kyle Shanahan

By David Bonilla
1 hr

The San Francisco 49ers expect Brock Purdy to be ready to play between early September and early November. That's a significant range considering the 2023 NFL season begins in early September. Head coach Kyle Shanahan, speaking with reporters at the NFL owners' meetings in Arizona, said the team expects its 23-year-old quarterback's recovery from his March 10 surgery to be six to eight months. The 49ers will know more in June, when Purdy begins throwing again and starts ramping up his workload as part of his rehab. "It might be Week 1," Shanahan said. "I think I'm hearing, at the latest, Week 4. But that's just all estimations, and we'll see what

What Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers saw in Sam Darnold

By David Bonilla
13 mins

The San Francisco 49ers signing Sam Darnold was a bit of a surprise. It probably shouldn't have been, though. The team has liked the veteran quarterback for a while now. They did their homework on Darnold in 2018, leading to that draft, and flirted with the idea of trading for him in 2021 before the New York Jets sent him to the Carolina Panthers. The 49ers came calling when Darnold hit free agency this month, signing the quarterback to a one-year deal. The team already has other young quarterbacks—Brock Purdy and Trey Lance—on its roster. However, it's worth noting that both are attempting to return from injuries. Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in September. Purdy is expected to be out until at least early September after undergoing surgery on March


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone