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What the 49ers and Cowboys are Saying Ahead of the Divisional Round Matchup

The San Francisco 49ers are set to face the Dallas Cowboys as they look for their second win of the postseason. Here's what both teams had to say ahead of the Divisional Round matchup:

Niners Liners

Head coach Kyle Shanahan on the Cowboys defensive line:

"I think starting with their D-line, (Cowboys defensive coordinator) Dan Quinn jumps off the tape to me there. The way he gets those guys to move, they have some really good rushers. Everyone knows about (Cowboys defensive end Demarcus) Lawrence and (Cowboys linebacker Micah) Parsons, but there's not one bad one there. The way that they stunt, the way they can create one-on-ones, there's a reason they're number one in getting to the quarterback with sacks and pressures and it does jump off the tape."

Shanahan on Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott:

"Dak has always been a challenge. When you're a pure pocket passer who can make all the throws in there and read the defense really well and get the ball to the right spots and do it accurately. That's why he has the career he has, and when things do break down, he's got a knack for how to get out of that pocket and make some off-schedule plays and that's why he has had such a successful career so far."

Shanahan on Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz:

"He's a good player. He does a really good job of stretching the defense vertically. He gets down the seams very well, and Dak does a really good job of hitting him when he is open. When you have the route running ability and the hands that he has and the quarterback he has, he's a problem."

Shanahan on the 49ers-Cowboys historic rivalry:

"That's how rivalries happen. From the '80s when it started out, I remember so much from my childhood from sixth grade to ninth grade, because I was here '92 to '94, so it was the biggest rivalry in football to me growing up. And then usually that goes away when you don't meet in the playoffs a bunch, and we had a big game last year, we have a big game this year, so the more you do that, the bigger it gets again."

Shanahan on Cowboys rookie offensive lineman Tyler Smith:

"He's done a hell of a job this year, especially in his first year in this league, so he's played at a pretty high level throughout the year. That's where he has been most of the year, so he'll be right back there and it'll be a good matchup to watch."

Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on how the Cowboys have changed since last facing them in the 2021 Wild Card Game:

"They do a lot of similar things; the same things they did last year, so it is similar in that sense, but it's also different in that it's a new year, it's a new time, new team, new people. It is different with the preparations as opposed to how are we going to attack them? And we have to see how they're coming out versus us and their plan, so it's always different. Each opponent, no matter how many times you play them or when you play them, it's always a little different."

Ryans on the Cowboys offense:

"The first thing with Dallas is the run game. With their offensive line, they do a really good job of blocking up front and the run game is really where they start. I think (Cowboys running back Tony) Pollard is a very explosive, dynamic back who can finish; home run speed. (Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott) Zeke is still playing well, a physical runner, so we have to do a really good job of stopping the run. And Dak is playing at a high level. He did a really good job on Monday night of making plays, putting his team in position to win the game, keeping plays alive, so he's done a really good job there of leading that unit. And they're clicking right now. Their playmakers are making plays for them."

Ryans on improving each week in the postseason:

"We're always trying to get better and that's one thing that's really cool about our defense. Nobody's just resting on what they've done. Nobody's just satisfied with what we've done. I didn't like the way we came out last week, that wasn't representative of who we are, so we can come out better to start the game. We can set the tempo better. We can play with better pad leverage on defense. We can get off of blocks better, we can finish better, so there are always things that we're pushing our guys to be better at. We're not satisfied. How can we play our absolute best at the time we need it most and there's no better time right now. Playoffs, Cowboys, Niners, our defense has to play their absolute best if we want to move forward."

Offensive line coach and run game coordinator Chris Foerster on the Cowboys defensive line:

"They play very hard. They're very quick, like our defensive line is. They're very physical. They've got good edge rushers, they've got good interior players. They're very well coached. They have a good scheme. Dallas is a very good football team, very well coached and a talented front group of guys to deal with and they've been a challenge for everybody all season. They will be a challenge for us for sure on Sunday."

Quarterback Brock Purdy on the Cowboys defensive front:

"They're just talented across the board. They're well coached, you can tell with their scheme and everything that they do, there's definitely a plan that they have and they go at it and all five of their guys, four of their guys, whoever's on the field, they pay attention to detail in the pass rush, which I feel like is a good challenge for us. I feel like we've played a handful of teams that do a good job and are well coached up front, but these guys are probably one of the best at it and it will be one of the best challenges that we've seen."

Linebacker Fred Warner on matching up against the Cowboys:

"We're excited about this. We have a huge challenge with the Cowboys coming into town. We know they're going to come in ready to go and hungry. Obviously, we've got to come in making sure we're playing our best."

Warner on the rivalry between the 49ers and Cowboys:

"I've been a part of some really special games here at Levi's® in the playoffs. I think this is probably going to be the most electric feeling that we've had in the stadium. Obviously, because of the rivalry from the past, the history of playing these guys, just two really great teams battling it out. It's gonna be fun."

Defensive lineman Nick Bosa on renewing a historic rivalry on Sunday:

"Whenever you play the Cowboys, they're hyped... Just because of the team that they are, the talent they have and all that. It's playoff football either way, so it's going to be a big deal, but the past makes it even bigger."

Defensive lineman Charles Omenihu on facing the Cowboys for a second year in the playoffs:

"I know the rivalry is a playoff kind of rivalry. Ironically, we meet again, and this time they come here and hopefully it's the same result."

Cowboys Quotes

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy on facing the 49ers in the playoffs:

"We're all excited about it. No question. When the season ends the way it did, that's natural, that's all part of the competitive spirit in our game. Just like anything, where we want to go, these are the games you have to win. These are the teams you have to beat and that's really what we're focused on."

McCarthy on competing against San Francisco:

"We're playing a tremendous football team. We're in tune with that and we know the way we need to play and what we need to do to win the game."

McCarthy on the versatility of the Cowboys defense vs. the versatility of the 49ers offense:

"The flexibility that our safety group gives us will be a big part of how we go after the 49ers. They do a great job... They've got multiple players who are complete in the backfield and also play all three positions in the wide receiver slot. This will definitely be part of the battle, part of the challenge, versatility on both their offense and our defense."

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott on playing against the 49ers front seven:

"It's a great front seven. Starting off with Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead, just understanding when those guys get pressured it allows Fred Warner to run and just the rest of those guys and that's where their defense starts. So we've got to do a great job of blocking them first, allowing our guys go make plays and getting our backs on the second level... Warner is definitely not overlooked by the guys playing the game on that field. I understand just how athletic he is, he's great in pass coverage, he's great stopping the run. He's very instinctive, one of the best inside linebackers in our game right now. You turn on the tape and you can see that Dre Greenlaw on the side of him is having a hell of a year doing the same thing. Just making plays and taking some pressure off of Fred, he's stepping up and he's doing well."

Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons on left tackle Trent Williams:

"He's one of the better tackles, but that's what I look for, best on best. I want Trent to give his best game ever and he's going to get my best game ever. It's just a passionate sport, that's what you want. I'm not intimidated or feel threatened because I'm a threat too, so he's going to get my best. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get his best also."

Parsons on quarterback Brock Purdy:

"He's showed great poise. I'm a fan of Purdy. I think he came in and did everything the right way. He prepared like he was going to be a starter and when his time came he's shining a great light. In terms of him being a rookie, I think he's surpassed a lot of rookies this year who've started for teams much longer and in great detail. I definitely wouldn't underestimate him. He might have surprised some people early on and probably they thought no rookie was going to come in and beat us, but he's taken them this far, so I'm super excited to go against him. Let's see what he's got."

Parsons on the 49ers offensive weapons:

"You look at the tape and Deebo Samuel probably leads the league in broken tackles with how strong he is, he keeps going. Even Christian McCaffrey, really their whole team is making a lot of guys miss. I think that's what they feed off of, making somebody miss, running through somebody and getting extra yards."

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