Rivalry Renewed As No. 3 Cowboys Will Face 49ers 


FRISCO, Texas – All of a sudden, it's feeling like a throwback weekend for the Dallas Cowboys.

Another unpredictable afternoon in the NFL played to the Cowboys' benefit on Sunday, as they jumped into the NFC's No. 3 seed and a playoff matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.

The NFL announced the game will kick off Sunday, Jan. 16 at 3:30 p.m. (CT), airing on CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon and Amazon Prime Video.

And by moving to the No. 3 seed, it means the Cowboys would avoid having to play at Green Bay in the next round. A victory over the 49ers would mean either playing at No. 2 Tampa Bay, or hosting the winner of the Rams-Cardinals.

But for now, the focus is only on the 49ers.

It will be the eighth playoff meeting between Dallas and San Francisco, though just the first matchup since Jan. 15, 1995 – the epic NFC Championship Game that saw the 49ers hold off the Cowboys, 38-28.

That game happened at Candlestick Park, while this one is set for AT&T Stadium. It'll be the Cowboys' fifth home playoff game since opening the new stadium in 2009.

Credit to them, the Cowboys were right about this scenario.

Their playoff seeding wasn't in their control when they opted to play their healthy starters on Saturday night in Philadelphia. But, having dispatched the Eagles, 51-26, the Cowboys only need a couple favorable results on Sunday to improve their standing.

San Francisco's furious rally past the L.A. Rams was one of those results. When Seattle finished off an upset of Arizona at the same time, the matchup was set.

Because the NFL reseeds its playoff matchups, it's impossible to tell where the Cowboys' road will go if they win next week. But for the time being, they'll be rekindling one of the league's most iconic rivalries to kick off their path through the postseason.

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