The NFL may have no more storied playoff rivalry than the Cowboys and 49ers, and that rivalry will be renewed on Sunday.
When the Cowboys visit San Francisco it will be the ninth time the two teams have played each other in the playoffs.
The Cowboys have a 5-3 advantage in the previous eight games, but the 49ers won the most recent game, a 23-17 victory a year ago.
The Cowboys and 49ers’ first two playoff meetings were the first two NFC Championship Games after the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The Cowboys won both of those games to advance to Super Bowl V and Super Bowl VI. They also met in the divisional round after the 1972 season, with the Cowboys again winning.
The rivalry was renewed in the 1981 NFC Championship Game, when Joe Montana hit Dwight Clark in the end zone for The Catch, and the 49ers won 28-27 to advance to Super Bowl XVI.
A decade later the Cowboys and 49ers would play three straight NFC Championship Games, with the Cowboys winning the first two and going on to win Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII, and the 49ers winning the third one and then winning Super Bowl XXIX.
And now playoff meeting No. 9 will send the winner to the NFC Championship Game.