Here's a 'big fact' for everyone. It just means more when the Cowboys and 49ers meet. Whether in the playoffs or in Week 5 of the 2023 regular season, there is no love lost between two of the best teams and most storied franchises in the NFL. This week, the Cowboys (3-1) aim to announce their arrival as true contenders in the NFC while the 49ers (4-0) look to keep their best undefeated start since 2019 rolling along. Here are the 10 most notable 'big facts' to remember ahead of Sunday's 7:20 CT kickoff on NBC.
History on the Line – Sunday marks the 40th all-time meeting (playoffs and regular season) between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. The previous 39 meetings were split directly down the middle, 19-19-1. The 49ers have won the last two matchups in the postseason while Dallas has taken the three most recent regular season meetings.
Undefeated vs. #1 Scoring Defense – 19th all-time meeting of the Super Bowl Era between an undefeated team and the top scoring defense entering Week 5 or later. The undefeated team in 14-4 in the prior matchups and have won four-straight entering Sunday night.
Just like old times – Fifth meeting between the Cowboys and 49ers when both teams hold a .750 winning percentage or better. The first came in the 1981 NFC Championship game, where San Francisco won 28-27 and went on to win the Super Bowl. The second was the 1992 NFC title game won by the Cowboys 30-20 before winning it all. And the final two came in 1994 regular season and NFC title game, both won by the 49ers, who eventually won the Super Bowl as well.
Locking down the third - The Cowboys have not allowed a point in the third quarter all season long. The seven points to the Cardinals in the fourth quarter are the only second-half points allowed by this defense in the first four games.
Locking down the third… Part II- Dallas is statistically the best third-down conversion rate in the NFL at 51.6. They have converted on 32-of-62 third down opportunities in 2023, the best number in the NFL.
Another Gold Rush? – Fourth time 49ers have started 4-0, San Francisco has made it to at least the NFC title game during the three prior occasions. In 1984, they started 6-0 and won Super Bowl XIX. In 1990, the 49ers started a franchise-best 10-0 before eventually falling in the NFC Championship game. And in 2019, they began the year 8-0 before falling in Super Bowl LIV.
Better cover Brandon – Brandon Aiyuk may be the most underrated wide receiver in football and has put up the numbers to prove it. All 17 of his receptions this season has resulted in either a first down or a touchdown. He also leads the NFL in multiple categories such as yards per target (16.0) and yards per route (4.6), according to Next Gen Stats.
First-times the charm - The 49ers are the best team in football on first down, averaging 7.1 yards per game. The Cowboys are fifth, 5.79 yards per play.
Battle of No. 2s – San Francisco has second-best offense in NFL 398.0 yards per game. The Cowboys are No. 2 defense – 259.8 yards allowed per game.
Fantastic Ferguson – The second-year tight end has tallied 36 receptions in his first 20 career games. A number good enough for second in franchise history by a tight end, only trailing Jason Witten (65).