Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan discusses Cowboys playing on short week

Jan 19, 2023 at 11:25 AM--

When the San Francisco 49ers kick off against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, eight days will have passed since their last game, a 41-23 Wild Card win over the Seattle Seahawks. Only six days will have passed for the Cowboys since their previous game, a 31-14 Monday night win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

San Francisco, the home team, has an obvious advantage with two extra days to recover and prepare for this weekend's postseason clash. However, it's something that the team's head coach believes is sometimes overemphasized.

"I think it can be an advantage. Sometimes it can be a disadvantage," Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday. "I know the obvious ones—that you get less rest, less time to recover."

No NFL team is a stranger to a short week. The 49ers have played four games this season that were either off a short week and led to one—two Monday night games, a Thursday night game, and this past Saturday's Wild Card game. They also played their Week 16 contest on a Saturday. However, that one came after their Thursday night matchup, providing extra time to rest.

The short weeks can be challenging, but the reduced preparation time may have more impact than the lack of recovery time.

"I love having more time, but sometimes you feel like you can't play those Thursday night games, and you get to it, and your team is just off the wall because they haven't slowed down at all. And by this time, I don't think it is about recovery. It's about detail, and it's about executing, and it's about playing at a high level."

Last year, the Los Angeles Rams were in the same situation as the Cowboys. They faced the Arizona Cardinals on January 17, 2022, a Monday night, and followed that up with a road win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following Sunday—on January 23, 2022.

"Once you get to games, especially in the playoffs, that recovery, people forget about pretty quickly," Shanahan said. "And just watching the Rams last year, they beat the Cardinals as good as anyone, and then they flew all the way to Tampa, and I think they were up 28-0 at halftime, so I don't think that means anything."

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