Why Papa believes Lamb, Parsons will give 49ers issues originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
However, some Dallas players can give San Francisco headaches, and 49ers radio play-by-play announcer Greg Papa highlighted CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons as two stars who can swing the game toward the Cowboys.
Papa first discussed with NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco which player on the 49ers' defense needs to step up to ensure that Lamb doesn't have a breakout game for the Cowboys.
"And mainly because CeeDee is in the slot," Papa told Maiocco on the latest episode of "49ers Talk" this week. "Last year, [Dallas] moved him outside. He was a slot guy coming [into the NFL] and they moved him out. He's in the slot mostly left and right [on] a high percentage of his snaps.
"So that's not Charvarius Ward. It's not Deommodore Lenoir. It's Jimmie [Ward]. And he's going to have to cover him. I think the key with him is to pound [Lamb] after he catches the ball, tag him, put him on the ground and be physical. It's hard to get to him as a slot guy because it's hard to double-press both inside and out. So he normally gets a clean release. But once he catches the ball, be physical with him."
Papa then turned his attention to Parsons as the two-time All-Pro will attempt to make Brock Purdy's life difficult during the game. Like with Ward, Papa highlighted one player that will need to protect the rookie quarterback from Parsons.
"He's a game wrecker," Papa said about Parsons. "He's a game-changer his first two years in the NFL, very similar to Aldon Smith in the way he's been productive. They line him up everywhere. This year, they're rushing him a lot more. Last year, they dropped him in the coverage 48 percent of the time. They rushed him 52 percent. This year, he's coming 89 percent of the time.
"So, you know he's coming, mainly over the left tackle Trent Williams. But I think [Mike] McGlinchey will get him in this game. He sees predominantly the right hand over the left tackle, even more so the last eight games of the year, [a] very high percentage. But I think they'll move him over McGlinchey's side and then they put Demarcus Lawrence there next to [Parsons]. And they run a lot of games, so they got stars and they got a few other players that are under the radar."
After Dallas' wild-card loss last year, quarterback Dak Prescott stated that the team wanted this rematch against the 49ers. Well, they got it; now their star players will need to show up with a ticket to the NFC Championship Game on the line.