The San Francisco 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs last season in part because of their strength in the trenches, and they appear to have a significant advantage in that area once again as they look to repeat. the feat during the divisional round this Sunday.

In the playoffs at the end of the 2021 season, San Francisco’s defensive line dictated their matchup with the Cowboys in the Niners’ 23-17 Wild Card road win. San Francisco claimed the win in a game that saw Nick Bosa injured. This time, with even higher stakes, Bosa will be available to take on a vulnerable offensive line struggling with injuries on his left side.

Dallas ruled out veteran left tackle Jason Peters for the Divisional Round game at Levi’s Stadium, which means the Cowboys will be forced to mix up their play. Connor McGovern taking his place inside.

Smith had an impressive rookie year, however, facing Bosa would represent the sternest test of his embryonic career, especially with the Defensive Player of the Year surely eyeing a rebound game after being relatively quiet in the Wild round. Map of San Francisco. Seattle Seahawks blowout.

Bosa had no pressure against the Seahawks, according to Pro Football Focus (h/t Akash Anavarathan of the Nation of Niners), but his blank in that regard was undone by the efforts of his teammates on San Francisco’s deep defensive front, notably Charles Omenihu, who recorded two sacks including one that resulted in a fumble from Geno Smith recovered by Bosa for ending what would have been a Seattle drive and preserving what was then a one-score lead for the Niners.

Omenihu, who showed impressive development as a pass thrower in his first full season with the Niners, will no doubt have an important role to play in providing a passing rush from the rim and the interior against the Cowboys.

Defensive tackles Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw will be tasked with plugging up the running lanes as well as producing inside penetration while Samson Ebukam and Jordan Willis could also be a big influence rushing from the edge.

But in a game where one of the subplots will be the comparative impacts of Bosa and former Defensive Player of the Year favorite Micah Parsons, it will mostly be up to the 2019 second overall pick to enjoy a very favourable, even with Smith’s performances this season often belying his inexperience at the top level.

The 49ers will field Bosa on both sides, but with Tyron Smith starting at right tackle, it’s likely San Francisco will field him more often against Tyler Smith and ensure he proves a weak link for Dallas.

Bosa has been the best defensive player in the NFL this season, but the playoffs are about the elite talent of a team that delivers in the biggest moments.

The 49ers didn’t need Bosa to be at his best last week, though, if he can dictate his matchup with Tyler Smith and consistently knock Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott out of his place and pace in which he was in Dallas’ Wild Card win. over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then the 49ers will be in a great position to advance to a third NFC Championship Game in four seasons.

Rushing with integrity will be important for Bosa and Co. to avoid leaving gaping rush lanes for Prescott to exploit, but, as long as he and the 49ers front consistently win his rushes against an injury-hindered O-Line , San Francisco will have a recipe to beat Dallas again and take another step towards the Super Bowl.

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