San Francisco 49ers Outlast Dallas Cowboys, Advance to NFC Championship

The San Francisco 49ers battled the Dallas Cowboys in a hard-hitting, defensive struggle in the final game of the Divisional Round on Sunday, suffocating the Cowboys offense and holding on for a tight 19-12 victory. With the win, the 49ers advance to their third NFC Championship game under head coach Kyle Shanahan.

The 49ers defense looked every bit the unit that finished best in the league in points allowed and yards allowed. A stifling front seven held Cowboys runners to a mere 76 yards on 22 attempts. A fierce pass rush and opportunistic secondary frustrated Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott relentlessly, forcing two interceptions and limiting him to 5.57 net yards per attempt. As the league skews ever more towards offense, the 49ers have a rare difference-making defense that could carry them all the way to the Super Bowl.

As for the 49ers offense, rookie quarterback Brock Purdy showed his first signs of coming back to earth following a whirlwind first seven games. He netted 199 scoreless yards on 31 dropbacks but continued to avoid major mistakes and hit open receivers. Tight end George Kittle came through in the clutch, nabbing all five of his targets for 95 yards, including a crucial, juggling 30-yard catch on the 49ers' only touchdown drive. The new-look 49ers pass attack will face its most serious test yet in the NFC Championship: the Philadelphia Eagles rank first in the league in passing yards allowed and net passing yards per attempt.

The Eagles will host the 49ers in the NFC Championship game this Sunday at 3:00 PM ET.

Photo Credit: © Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports