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Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy expresses confidence forward of divisional spherical recreation: ‘I actually like being the underdog’

The Dallas Cowboys‘ 2021 season got here to a disappointing finish when the group misplaced 23-17 Within the wild-card spherical of the playoffs.

This weekend, the Cowboys journey to California for a matchup in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers. Dallas can be seeking to even the rating after being knocked out of final 12 months’s playoffs by San Francisco.

“Most positively, I [wanted the rematch],” Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott mentioned, by way of the group’s web site. “I believe this complete group did. Clearly, utilizing that loss final 12 months as a motivation and simply sort of the focus of the resiliency that we carried into the offseason, [that we] carried into this 12 months.”

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Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy watches play in opposition to the Las Vegas Raiders within the first half of a recreation in Arlington, Texas, Nov. 25, 2021.
(AP Picture/Ron Jenkins)

Final postseason, the 49ers jumped out to an early 10-0 lead the Cowboys couldn’t recuperate from regardless of a fourth-quarter rally.

Prescott added that he welcomes the problem of enjoying at Levi’s Stadium Sunday as a substitute of the pleasant confines of AT&T Stadium. “Yeah, we get an opportunity to return and, at their place, do one thing that we need to do,” Prescott famous.

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On Friday, Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy described final 12 months’s playoff defeat as a “sacred wound.”

Cowboys star linebacker Micah Parsons mentioned a number of the points that happened in the course of the recreation have been self-inflicted.

“I actually assume we beat ourselves final 12 months with the penalties, the offsides, issues like that,” Parsons mentioned. “Should you simply play your recreation — the largest false impression is that you must go on the market and be totally different, that you must go on the market and attempt to out-physical a group, that you just need to play their recreation.

“Why play their recreation? Play your recreation. Let’s play Dallas soccer. That is all we obtained to do.”

Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys, left, looks to pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFC wild-card playoff game at AT and T Stadium Jan. 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.

Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys, left, appears to go in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers in the course of the second half of an NFC wild-card playoff recreation at AT and T Stadium Jan. 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas.
(Tom Pennington/Getty Photos)

The Cowboys had a second consecutive 12-win common season, however the franchise has not skilled an excessive amount of postseason success during the last 20 years.

The Cowboys have made the playoffs three out of the final 5 seasons however haven’t superior to the NFC championship recreation for the reason that 1995 season, the final time the franchise captured a Tremendous Bowl title.

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The Cowboys enter Sunday’s contest in Santa Clara as underdogs in opposition to the No. 2 seed 49ers. 

However McCarthy mentioned he has an unwavering confidence regardless of his group not being favored.

“We’re very snug on this place,” McCarthy mentioned of being underdogs. “We’re clearly going there anticipating to win. Make no bones about that.”

Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (27) runs in the end zone after his interception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. 

Dallas Cowboys security Jayron Kearse (27) runs in the long run zone after his interception in opposition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the course of the first half of an NFL wild-card soccer recreation, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. 
(AP Picture/Chris Carlson)

The Niners are using an 11-game winning streak with a robust protection and rookie quarterback Brock Purdy’s veteran-like play.

Purdy was chosen with the ultimate decide of the 2022 NFL Draft and stepped in after veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a foot harm.

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Parsons mentioned he enjoys being an underdog.

“Once you’re already on the backside, you’ll be able to solely go up. I actually like being the underdog,” he mentioned. 

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