The 40th chapter of the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers rivalry will be written in Week 5 of the 2023 season. Sunday's matchup will be a rubber match for these two franchises with the all-time series tied at 19-19-1 and includes six NFC Championship Game meetings dating back to the 70s. The history of these two teams coupled with primetime television only adds to the hype of these highly-rated NFC teams clashing early in the season.
"Any time you have a Sunday night game it's always bigger," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Sunday night, Monday night, Thursday night - there is always a little more excitement in the building knowing everyone's watching you. I have a lot of respect for the Cowboys and how good of a team they are. We know the challenge that we have in front of us, and we're aware of the rivalry and the history, which is always cool. But, besides that, it's Week 5."
The last NFC Championship Game meeting between San Francisco and Dallas was nearly 30 years ago in 1994 before many current 49ers players were even born. However, the current 49ers are well versed in early chapters of the rivalry and renewed the spirit of it over the last two seasons.
"It's a big game. They're a good team, and they bring it every time we see it in the playoffs the past two years," defensive lineman Nick Bosa said. "It's a big game, but you also don't want to make it too big because it's just another regular season game."
San Francisco is responsible for ending the Cowboys last two playoff runs. The 49ers handed them a loss in the NFC Wild Card Round at the end of the 2021 season and then again the following season in the NFC Divisional Round.
"We understand the history of the 49ers-Cowboys," linebacker Fred Warner said. "I'm happy that we've been able to make it a matchup that people can get excited about."
This 2023 meeting will feature two teams that match up well. Both teams feature high powered offenses, stingy defenses and skillful playcallers in Shanahan and Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy.
"People get excited about this matchup because of what it's always been," Warner said. "I think it makes it more exciting that both teams are playing as well as they are."
"It's going to be a great game with two teams that have a lot of talent," defensive lineman Arik Armstead said. "It's going to be a fun exciting game."