49ers-Cowboys, a historic rivalry that fuels the NFL playoffs

Sports Writing.- The Dallas Cowboys arrive as favorites to their NFL postseason game next Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, a rival with whom

Sports Writing.- The arrive as favorites to their postseason game next Sunday against the , a rival with whom they have a bitter rivalry.

How about them Cowboys?! (How about those Cowboys!?), Is a phrase that still echoes in the fans of the Cowboys said in 1992 by their then coach Jimmy Johnson after beating the 49ers in the NFC final at the old Candlestick Park.

It was the first of two straight NFC Finals victories over San Francisco that would lead Dallas to two Super Bowls in the 1990s, the one in which the 49ers got their revenge in 1994 and later triumphed in the big game.

Since 1970 these two teams have seen each other in the playoffs seven times with a 5-2 record in favor of the Cowboys, now they will meet for the eighth time en route to the Super Bowl.

NFC East champion Dallas boasts the best overall offense in the NFL and the second-best in passing yards thanks to quarterback Dak Prescott, who has the fourth-best passing record with 37.

San Francisco has the third-best defense overall, though when it comes to pass defense it drops as low as sixth.

His weakness is in his secondary defense, the most punished in the NFL for pass interference that gave his rivals a gain of 367 yards for 20 penalties.

In another game on Sunday, the current NFL champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers are favorites to beat the Philadelphia Eagles.

The mission of the Philadelphia defense, eleventh against the pass, will be to stop the attack led by Tom Brady, leader in yards with 5,136 and 43 touchdown passes, not bad for the 44-year-old quarterback who boasts seven Super Bowl rings.

In the AFC there will be a clash of heated rivalry this Saturday between the first place in the East, the Buffalo Bills, and the second, the New England Patriots.

After dominating the Division between 2009 and 2019, coach Bill Belichick’s squad comes out as a victim against some Bills who for the second consecutive year want to reach the AFC final; last year they lost it to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs, champions of the American Conference, will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, a team in which their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, 39, plays his last season in the NFL.

It will not be easy for Pittsburgh, because while Roethlisberger added the second worst numbers of his career in passing yards with 3,740 and 22 touchdown passes; opposite, Patrick Mahomes was the fourth passer with the most yards obtained, 4,839, and 37 TDs.

The Green Bay Packers, champions of the NFC North, and the Tennessee Titans, champions of the AFC South, seeded in one of their respective conferences, will rest this playoff weekend.