HomeSportsNFLMichael Irvin Points Out the Team That Will Be the Dallas Cowboys Kryptonite in the NFL Playoffs

Michael Irvin Points Out the Team That Will Be the Dallas Cowboys Kryptonite in the NFL Playoffs

by Suzanne Halliburton
michael irvin thinks 49ers are impossible matchup for cowboys
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It probably hurts Michael Irvin to say this. But the former Cowboys star believes Dallas doesn’t match up that well with the San Francisco 49ers.

Here’s why it’s so painful for Irvin to say that San Fran is “kryptonite” for his Cowboys as the two teams prepare for Sunday’s playoff game. Irvin excelled in the 1990s. And back in the day, the Cowboys-49ers were the premiere playoff matchup in the NFL. Dallas dominated at first, beating San Fran in the NFC championship games of 1970 and 1971. The Cowboys knocked out the 49ers in the divisional playoff round the next season.

Then came the game that gutted Dallas fans. If you’re of a certain age, you remember the 1981 NFC title game at Candlestick Park. Joe Montana found Dwight Clark for a touchdown in the game’s final minute to give the 49ers a Super Bowl berth. Mention two words — “the catch” — to any fan of the 49ers or Cowboys. It’s always Montana to Clark.

Dwight Clark, the 49ers receiver, devastated the Cowboys with “The Catch” in the 1981 NFC championship game. (Andy Hayt/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Then came the Michael Irvin vintage years. From 1992-94, the Cowboys met the 49ers in three straight NFC title games. Dallas won two of the three. The playoff rivalry went dormant for years. Then in 2021, both teams qualified for the playoffs in the same year for the first time since 1998.

Check out this matchup between two legends — Irvin and Deion Sanders in an NFC title game.

Monica DAVIES/AFP via Getty Images

So now that you know the proper history, Michael Irvin giving the nod to San Fran has got to hurt his Cowboys heart. In fact, Irvin thinks the 49ers are the worst possible playoff matchup for the Cowboys,

“I like this matchup the least out of all the matchups the Cowboys could have fallen up upon,” Irvin said this week during a radio interview with San Francisco’s 95.7.

“I would rather have this in the NFC Championship game,” Irvin said. “If you have to do it, do it on that stage as opposed to doing it anytime before. I’ll tell you why, it’s because the San Francisco 49ers have all the kryptonite for the Dallas Cowboys.”

Then Irvin explains why. It has to do with the balance of the 49ers. Sure, quarterback Brock Purdy is a rookie. But San Francisco sports Christian McCaffrey at tailback and Deebo Samuel lining up all over the field. Brandon Aiyuk is a terrific receiver. Plus, Purdy can lean on tight end George Kittle.

“They can run the football very well,” Irvin said. “That’s one of the issues Dallas has is being able to stop a great running game. They can certainly run the football very well. Another thing Dallas has is speed. Kyle Shanahan uses Dallas’ speed to their detriment with all the misdirections and everything.

“I’m really worried about (Dallas linebacker) Micah Parsons.” he said. “Because I’m sure they’re gonna show him so much eye candy that it will be hard for him to focus and play direct football.”

The 49ers beat the Cowboys 23-17 last year in the wildcard round. And oddsmakers think San Francisco will win Sunday as well.

But Irvin wants the current Cowboys to be aware of the rich tradition of meeting the 49ers in the post season.

“Even though a lot of those kids weren’t even born, it still matters,” Irvin said. “Because that means it’s been carried on.”