5 Important Stats and Players To Watch During The Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers Predictions, Including Brandin Cooks’ Potential Firepower

In a crucial conference game, the Dallas Cowboys play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. What are some crucial game statistics to keep an eye on?

On Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys will travel to Santa Clara to face the San Francisco 49ers. Antagonism has been growing in this clash for the past two seasons due to past events. What crucial elements will decide the outcome of the game between the Cowboys and the 49ers?

We have all the news from around the league to keep you up to date, including the most recent NFL standings, club depth charts, and coverage of every game in the 18-week NFL calendar!

The Historic Feud Between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers

The Cowboys vs. 49ers rivalry is one that all generations can appreciate. This rivalry was among the top-ranked of the 1990s when the two teams battled in the NFC Championship Game during the 1992-1994 seasons.

The Cowboys won in 1992 and 1993 and would go on to win the Super Bowl both years, while San Francisco won in 1994 and won Super Bowl XXIX.

MORE: Cowboys vs. 49ers Preview — Injured Dallas OL Faces Ultimate Challenge in Nick Bosa and Friends

These two teams only play once every three years, but that has not been the case the last two years when the Cowboys and 49ers have met in the playoffs. Both times, San Francisco won one-score games to end Dallas’ season, which has set the stage for one of the season’s biggest games on Sunday Night Football.

However, this time, the Cowboys can go into this game and prove that the 49ers don’t have their number.

Cowboys vs. 49ers Game Preview

San Francisco leads the series against Dallas in their all-time series history 15-14-1. The Cowboys can tie the record and slay the dragon that has ended their season two years in a row.

One of the biggest downfalls for Dallas the last time these two teams met in January was the lack of run defense. In the offseason, the Cowboys locked down Johnathan Hankins for another season and drafted Mazi Smith in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft to stuff the trenches and fix this issue.

Although the run defense was in question in the team’s Week 3 matchup against the Cardinals, the uncharacteristic showing didn’t reflect how efficient it has been this season.

Miscues and miscommunications plagued the Cowboys’ offense last season and returned to haunt them in losing against the 49ers. Dak Prescott had two interceptions, and the offense only scored one touchdown during the game.

Prescott’s 15 interceptions throughout the 2022 season stemmed from several issues the Cowboys seemingly resolved in the offseason. So far this season, Prescott only has one interception. Mike McCarthy is now calling the plays, which has simplified the offense for everyone involved, allowing everyone to do their job and do it well.

Dallas Cowboys
Oct 1, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) after throwing a touchdown pass during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys’ offense has had struggles in the red zone this season, so it will be vital for them to score touchdowns and not settle for field goal kicks like they have throughout the last five weeks.

However, Dallas has more hope than ever in this department as its starting offensive line is projected to make its first start of the season. This would be the first time the starting five for the Cowboys’ O-line has been on the field at the same time since 2021.

Cowboys-49ers Stats From Inside Edge

Here are some of the biggest stats to watch on Sunday night, courtesy of Inside Edge.

  • CeeDee Lamb (DAL) has 130 receptions since the 2022 season — sixth most of qualified wide receivers.
  • The 49ers have allowed 294 receptions to WRs since the 2022 season — tied for third most in the NFL.


Lamb and Prescott have found their connection this season. So far, Lamb has 309 yards, 23 receptions, and one touchdown. Even if he’s double-teamed and Prescott can’t target him, the Dallas QB has an array of talent in the receiver room to throw to, allowing the passing game to open up.

Dak can pass to Brandin Cooks, Michael Gallup, KaVontae Turpin, or Jalen Tolbert, as well as utilize the tight ends. But it’s worth noting the production Dallas can have in the run game with Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle.

  • 49ers WRs have averaged 6.0 yards after the catch since the 2022 season — best in the NFL.
  • The Cowboys have allowed 4.8 yards after catch per reception to WRs since the 2022 season — tied for third worst in the NFL.


For the Cowboys’ offense, yards after catch will be vital in keeping them in front of the sticks. Jake Ferguson has been clutch for Prescott in doing this, with 147 yards on 17 receptions, averaging around 8.6 yards per catch.

Ferguson has 36 career receptions in his first 20 career games, the second-most receptions by a Cowboys tight end in the first 20 games in a career, trailing only Jason Witten (65).

As for the defense, tackling has been a point of emphasis for Quinn to instill in his players. Dallas ranks second in the NFL for the least total yards allowed from opposing teams, with 1,039 yards. If the unit can continue to tackle at the point of contact, they can make it difficult for the 49ers to move downfield.

  • Prescott has completed 71.2% of passes on passes to the left side of the field since Week 15 of the 2022 season — fourth best of qualified quarterbacks.
  • The 49ers have allowed a completion rate of 73.1% when defending on passes to the left since Week 15 of the 2022 season — worst in the league.


Prescott has efficiently led the team downfield into the red zone in the team’s “Texas Coast” offense. In fact, they led the NFL with red-zone attempts per game, where they have averaged nearly five attempts.

Despite the issues scoring in the red zone, Dallas’ passing game has been open and effective. Prescott has discussed releasing the ball on his first look, which has worked.

MORE: Will Winner of Cowboys-49ers Have Inside Track to the Super Bowl?

So far, Lamb is the team’s reception leader with 309 yards, and Gallup is second with 165. The Cowboys have lacked a vertical threat the last four weeks, but this is an area where Cooks can come into play if the play-calling allows.

  • Brock Purdy (SF) has averaged just 3.4 pass attempts per touchdown in the red zone since the 2022 season — tied for fifth best of qualified quarterbacks.
  • The Cowboys have allowed passing TDs once every just 3.4 pass attempts in the red zone since the 2022 season — fifth worst in the NFL.


So far this season, Dallas’ defense has held opposing teams to an average of 10 points so far this season. This would be lower if not for the unit’s uncharacteristic Week 3, allowing Arizona to score 28 points. The defense ranks fourth in the league with an opponent red-zone scoring percentage of 33.33.

Takeaways and sacks will be vital in this game to keep Purdy out of the red zone altogether.

  • The 49ers have thrown for 20+ yards on 30 of 215 attempts since Week 15 of the 2022 season — best in the NFL.
  • The Cowboys allowed 20+ yards on 10.9% of attempts since Week 15 of the 2022 season — fourth worst in the NFL.


The most challenging aspect of the game for the Cowboys’ defense this week is Purdy’s ability to window-dress plays, allowing them to fake out opposing defenses. Dallas cannot have a moment of hesitation, or big plays will happen.

The unit will need to earn the pass rush and put pressure on Purdy to release the ball quickly. If he does relate the ball to the secondary, the defensive backs such as Stephon Gilmore and DaRon Bland will have to ball hawk throughout the course of the game.

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