According to the latest NFL odds, the Cowboys are small (-3) favorites. Can they advance to the divisional round?
49ers at Cowboys (-3)
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022
- Time: 4:30 PM EST
- Venue: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX
Dallas has a balanced offensive attack, finishing second in passing yards per game (282.4) and ninth in rushing (124.6). The offense has many big-time playmakers, including WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Amari Cooper, and RB Ezekiel Elliott.
Opposing teams struggle to stop the Dallas offense. They rank third in yards per play (6.0) and have scored at least 20 points in 15 out of 17 games. They have scored over 30 points eight times.
San Francisco enters with a top-ten ranked scoring defense, allowing just 21.5 points per game. They also have the sixth-ranked pass defense, conceding 206.5 yards per game.
A Surging Dak Prescott
The Cowboys’ offense rolled all season, but they surged in recent weeks. Dallas averaged 43 points over the last three weeks, scoring over 50 points twice.
The sensational play of QB Dak Prescott is the most significant factor in the Cowboys’ offensive dominance. Since Week 16, Dak’s thrown 12 TDs and zero picks.
Prescott ranks seventh in pass yardage (4,449) and fourth in passing touchdowns (37).
Though Prescott isn’t a runner like Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, Dak can run and is elusive in the pocket. This season he’s run for 149 yards, averaging three yards per run. Prescott’s also adept at avoiding sacks, only taking 30 this season.
In a contest that figures to be close, winning the turnover battle is crucial. A critical fumble or interception may wind up deciding the game.
Dallas has the best turnover margin in the league (+14). The Cowboys have generated 34 takeaways, more than any other team. Meanwhile, the 49ers have a -4 turnover differential.
The Dallas defense has been opportunistic and capitalized on opposing mistakes. San Francisco’s defense has only 17 turnovers on the year and has the twelfth most turnovers in the NFL.
49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo played well in Week 18, throwing for 316 yards and a TD to lead his team back from a 17 point deficit against the Los Angeles Rams. He did, however, throw two interceptions.
Garoppolo has thrown 12 interceptions in 15 games. He has also been dealing with a nagging thumb injury.
Will the Dallas Cowboys Advance?
The Dallas Cowboys are a tremendous offensive team, and Dak Prescott is one of the league’s elite quarterbacks. If Dallas can win the turnover battle, they have a good chance of advancing to the divisional round.
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