Nfc Championship Game: 49ers At Cowboys

January 23, 1994|By Vito Stellino

Site: Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Time: 4 p.m.

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM)

Line: Cowboys by 3 1/2

Last game: The Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers, 27-17, and the 49ers beat the New York Giants, 44-3.

Last meeting: The Cowboys beat the 49ers, 26-17, on Oct. 17 as Emmitt Smith carried 27 times for 92 yards.

The series: The Cowboys lead the regular-season series, 9-6-1, while the Cowboys have a 4-1 edge in the playoffs.

On the sidelines: Jimmy Johnson, in his fifth season, is 49-37 as the Cowboys coach. George Seifert, in his fifth season as the 49ers coach, is 68-20.

What the Cowboys have to do to win: Keep Smith healthy. In the Green Bay game last week it was obvious Smith was still bothered by his separated shoulder. The Cowboys were good enough to beat the Packers with him running only twice in the second half after he took a shot on his shoulder. If the Cowboys are to win this one, they need Smith to play the whole game, carry 25 times and get more than 100 yards.

What the 49ers have to do to win: Get big games from Steve Young and Ricky Watters. Since the 49ers' defense isn't as sound as it once was, the 49ers' chance to win this game is to keep the ball on long drives and outscore the Cowboys. Both Young and Watters turned the ball over at critical times in last year's loss to the 49ers in the NFC title game. If they play the way they did against the Giants last week, the 49ers have a chance to pull the upset.

Injury report: 49ers: LB Martin Harrison (groin) is questionable; 00 DE Dennis Brown (knee), S Tim McDonald (groin) are probable. Cowboys: DT Russell Maryland (ankle) is questionable; S Kenneth Gant (shoulder), DE Charles Haley (back), WR Alvin Harper (neck), RB Derrick Lassic (toe), RB Smith (shoulder) are probable.

Outlook: The Cowboys are the better team and should win if Smith is sound. If he's not, the Cowboys could have trouble living up to Jimmy Johnson's guarantee.

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