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Why Candlestick Park is so important to the Dallas Cowboys

The_Catch,_Dwight_Clark,_S.F,_Ca._1981We are approaching multiple generations of Dallas Cowboys fans who have zero memory of their team playing meaningful games in January, much less a meaningful postseason game in San Francisco. There was a time when Cowboys v. 49ers was one of the biggest rivarlies in professional football.

Yes, there was a time when both the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers were both good at the same time. Now is not that time.

On Monday night, the 49ers will likely play their last game at Candlestick Park in the team's regular-season home finale. The team will be re-locating to the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara for next season.

This stadium is the place where NFL dynasties began, and ended. The Cowboys played the 49ers four times in Candlestick Park in the NFC title game.

71499115_display_imageJan. 3, 1971 Cowboys 17, 49ers 10
This was the first NFC title game since the AFL-NFL merger. The game was pretty much all defense, but Cowboys running back Duane Thomas did run for 143 yards with a touchdown. The Cowboys would lose the Super Bowl against the Colts.

The next year, the Cowboys defeated the 49ers in the NFC title game in Texas; two weeks later, they won their first Super Bowl.

Jan. 10, 1982 49ers 28, Cowboys 27
The "Catch". This was the first of three consecutive NFC title game losses for the Cowboys. The 49ers would win the Super Bowl, and become the team of the '80s.

Jan. 17, 1993 Cowboys 30, 49ers 20
Arguably the most famous play of the '90s dynasty Cowboys was in this game. Leading 24-20 late, the Cowboys called "896 F flat" where Troy Aikman hit Alvin Harper on a slant that gained 70 yards and set up the game-clinching score.
The Cowboys won the next two Super Bowls.

Jan. 15, 1995 49ers 38, Cowboys 28
Arguably the most exciting game the Cowboys played in the 1990s. Barry Switzer's Cowboys fell behind 21-0 before his team came back to make it a game. This is arguably the best Cowboys team that did not win a title. The 49ers won the Super Bowl.


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Thanks for reminding me of these great games. I miss the days when the Cowboys were relevant.

C Shira

The main difference between the two franchises, one has a GM and the other doesn't...

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