The Rivalry that once was …
In the 1990s, the Dallas Cowboys and 49ers met regularly as playoff heavyweights. Sunday, they will come together seeking to re-establish themselves as teams to be reckoned with.
Although the stakes are different in the renewal of the rivalry, it still has a certain appeal and serves as a reminder of the high-stakes meetings of the past.
``I've had so many ticket requests this week, it's been ridiculous,'' 49ers center Jeremy Newberry said. ``I bought over 50 for this game and I probably could have used 50 more if I could have bought them.''
The game at Monster Park, which is sold out, marks Dallas' first San Francisco visit since 1997.
The 49ers have won two of the three meetings since and lead the series 16-13-1. However, the Cowboys have won five of the seven postseason encounters. Those victories included all three playoff meetings in 1970-72, when the 49ers were coached by Dick Nolan, father of current 49ers coach Mike Nolan. The elder Nolan had served as Dallas Coach Tom Landry's defensive coordinator before coming to the 49ers in 1968.
``It was kind of the student, in my father, vs. his mentor, in Tom Landry,'' Mike Nolan said. ``But it didn't really become a rivalry until about '70 when they played in the championship game.''
The 49ers finally got past the Cowboys en route to the first of their five Super Bowl titles, in 1982. The teams met in the NFC Championship game in 1992-94, a run that ended with the 49ers denying Dallas' bid to win a third consecutive Super Bowl title.
``They were exciting to watch,'' said Newberry, who was raised in Antioch. ``That was the real Super Bowl.''
Niners offense is truly pitiful …
the 49ers, who rank 31st in total offense. They also have generated the fewest first downs in the league (20), and their 4-for-19 third-down conversion rate is the second-worst in the NFL, behind only the Houston Texans.
49ers simply must draft better …
The 49ers' past four first-round picks are Alex Smith (a backup), receiver Rashaun Woods (inactive for the first two games), Kwame Harris (moved from left tackle to right) and Mike Rumph (moved from cornerback to safety).
This is not to say that the 49ers are wrong for easing Smith into action. Two of the other Week 2 quarterback standouts -- the Cincinnati Bengals' Carson Palmer and the New York Giants' Eli Manning -- spent most or all of their rookie seasons watching and learning from the sideline.