Fox Sports Insider
“Good” doesn’t beat the San Francisco 49ers right now. Being consistent doesn’t improve your chances either. Stable and precise? No, not enough. Methodical and firm? Uh uh.
So, Dak Prescott, Mike McCarthy, Micah Parsons, Sidi Lamb, Tony Pollard, Jerry Jones, Mascot Roddy and the rest of Cowboy Nation What can we expect on Sunday as Dallas makes the trek to the Bay Area for the coveted NFC Divisional Game (6:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app)?
Maybe, just maybe, the clue lies in who they really are.
The Cowboys are a collective weirdo on a team. You never know what will happen. It can be spectacular. This can be bad. It’s almost never gray, vanilla, and midtones. And it often finds a way to do the opposite of what you expect.
That fatal word, “unstable,” which was thrown around like a cursed hot potato during the regular season, might actually be in the Cowboys’ favor this weekend, when the No. 5 seed switches against a San Francisco-owned juggernaut. become.
“I don’t want to go out there and compete with the 49ers,” defensive star Parsons told reporters. “If I play their game, they’re going to beat me. I’m going to play my game. I’m going to play to my strengths and what I bring. They’re going to play to their strengths. So let’s fight it out. “
“This year, we really have a chance to win everything”
Skip Bayless discusses his Cowboys ahead of the game against Brock Purdy and the 49ers.
The most generous explanation for inconsistency is that it also implies unpredictability, and predictability was a miserable path to the 49ers. Kyle Shanahan’s team are masters of preparation, ready for every weapon designed to injure them and every potential trap that tries to trip them up.
With Shanahan’s preparedness plan, they can execute with overwhelming firepower.Week after week, over the past three months, since losing to For the Kansas City Chiefs in October, there weren’t many close shaves along the way.
Since Christian McCaffrey took over to complete the offensive puzzle, the 49ers have had the manpower advantage every time they play. McCaffrey’s trade from the Carolina Panthers is shaping up to be the most pivotal deal of the season. The versatile running back combines with Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk to form a devastating array of options. The defense, meanwhile, was as determined as ever.
That’s the problem facing the Cowboys as they try to make it to the NFC championship game for the first time since 1995. If you look at what McCarthy’s men did against Jacksonville, or against Washington, or — parental advisory warning, because it was a complete horror show — narrowly beating the Houston Texans, then None of Sunday’s games seemed close.
Overall, the 49ers are stronger, but this is knockout football, and the key factor isn’t where the Cowboys’ floor is, but how high their ceiling has risen. Substandard performance isn’t going to cut it, we already know that.
[49ers-Cowboys: Most memorable playoff games from one of NFL’s great rivalries]
But Dallas does have an extra kit that few teams can match at this level. We don’t always see it, in fact, for followers of the team, it’s rarely seen. However, when Prescott is at his best, when the game command is on schedule, when the defense goes into big game mode and makes calculated gambles, there are undoubtedly times when the Cowboys look as good as any ball in the league. The team is just as good.
When things went the way they did against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an intense and ferocious game to end the wild-card round was the latest attempt the Cowboys could make, especially when Prescott fired and the vibe was right. .
“He’s been a roller coaster,” Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe said of Prescott on FS1’s “Undisputed.” “I knew what he was. He was inconsistent. That was one of the greatest offensive performances we’ve ever seen in history. What he did on Monday night should not be laughed at. He did it. I won’t deny him , but you want me to forget everything I’ve seen from this man for seven years.”
Dak Prescott: ‘I have confidence in my players’
David Herman explained that he is very confident that Prescott can lead the Cowboys far into the playoffs.
This is the point made by many. It’s no secret that Prescott and the Cowboys’ defense “can” shine enough to cause serious trouble for their opponents on Sunday. It’s whether they want to. After so many disappointments, fading promises and postseason heartache, they may be short of believers who can deliver a streak of blockbusters.
The story peddled by the Cowboys locker room is that this is a different group ready to seize the moment, with a sense of timing and purpose, a sense that they’ve been saving the best for it.
There’s no shortage of motivation, a good example being linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, returning from injury, striding around the team before the Tampa Bay game, yelling at his teammates to “be the elite.”
He said it all. again and again.
Become an elite.
they were then. They are not always. They need now.
Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @rogers fox and Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter.
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