49ers vs. Cowboys live score, updates, highlights from NFL wild-card playoff game

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San Francisco and Dallas orchestrated massive turnarounds this season after disappointing results a year ago. The Cowboys finished this year at 12-5, vastly improved from 6-10, while the 49ers went 10-7 after going 6-10 in 2021. 

Their reward for bouncing back? Playing each other in the first round of this year’s postseason, continuing one of the best and most historic rivalries in football, meeting for the first time in the playoffs since 1998 after decades of historic matchups prior to that.

MORE: Revisting Cowboys-49ers illustrious playoff history

Dallas has one of the league’s most potent and high-powered offenses. The Cowboys won the NFC East with the league’s best scoring offense and best total offense thanks to strong play from quarterback Dak Prescott, who played in all but one game this year after playing in only five a season ago due to injury. 

Prescott completed 68.8 percent of his passes and threw for a career-high 37 touchdowns while CeeDee Lamb had 1,102 yards receiving and Ezekiel Elliott had 1,002 yards rushing.

MORE: 49ers-Cowboys betting odds, trends, predictions for 2022 NFL wildcard game

But as good as the Cowboys have been offensively, San Francisco has been nearly as strong on the other side of the ball. It’s a unit that’s ranked ninth in scoring defense and third in total defense to go along with 48 sacks and 21 forced fumbles.

Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from 49ers vs. Cowboys on Sunday. Follow below for complete results from the 2022 NFL wild-card playoff game.

MORE: Watch 49ers vs. Cowboys live with fuboTV (free trial)

49ers vs. Cowboys score

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
49ers 10 6 7
Cowboys 0 7 0

49ers vs. Cowboys live updates, highlights from NFL playoffs

7:23 p.m.: The Niners get bailed out on second down as a fumble on George Kittle was deemed incomplete. Third-and-7 on their own 42 now for the Niners.

7:22 p.m.: The ball moves up to the San Francisco 39 for the Niners following a defensive holding penalty.

7:21 p.m.: Garoppolo finds hits favorite third down target in Jauan Jennings. They needed 4 and got 5. Now first-and-10 for the Niners from their 29.

7:19 p.m.: San Francisco takes over at its own 18 following the kickoff after the touchdown.

7:18 p.m.: Some context on the interception by Garoppolo that set up the touchdown:

7:16 p.m: TOUCHDOWN COWBOYS. On third-and-goal, Prescott takes off with it himself and finds the end zone from 5 yards out. Now a one-score game. 49ers 23, Cowboys 17 with 8:02 left in the game.

7:13 p.m.: Prescott completes a pass to Amari Cooper for 11 yards and a pass to CeeDee Lamb for 10 yards and it’s now second-and-10 for the Cowboys from the Niners’ 7.

7:10 p.m.: INTERCEPTION COWBOYS. On second-and-10 from their own 44, Garoppolo just misses his receiver and the Cowboys intercepti it and take over at the San Francisco 28 primed to score.

7:08 p.m.: George Kittle’s first catch of the game is a big one, going for 18 yards. Now first-and-10 San Francisco from their own 44.

7:04 p.m.: FIELD GOAL DALLAS. No worries about Zuerlein missing this one as he easily nails the 51-yarder. San Francisco 23, Dallas 10 with 11:53 left in the fourth.

7:02 p.m.: On fourth-and-7 from the San Francisco 33, Dallas opts for a 51 yard field goal with Greg Zuerlein, who’s missed six field goals and six extra points so far this season.

6:59 p.m.: The Cowboys start the fourth quarter at their own 48 but it’s quickly fourth-and-5 and they appear to punt it away but they fake it and convert. Anger’s pass is completed for 16 yards and Dallas has the ball now at the San Francisco 41 following the completion and a delay of game.

End third quarter: 49ers 23, Cowboys 7

6:54 p.m.: Prescott hits Cedrick Wilson for a gain of 23 and it’s now quickly third-and-2 as Dallas gains back all that yardage. Ezekiel Elliott then takes it for two yards and the first down to end the third quarter.

6:53 p.m.: On first down, Prescott is sacked and fumbles, but falls on it. Now second-and-25 following the sack and an offensive penalty.

6:51 p.m: Mitchell’s big run is quickly a moot point as the Niners go three-and-out and punt it away. It’ll be Dallas ball at their own 30 with 1:34 left in the third quarter.

6:49 p.m.: Elijah Mitchell takes it for 16 yards up to the San Francisco 24 as they get more room to operate and they look to keep their foot on the gas.

6:45 p.m.: On fourth-and-2 from their own 33, Dallas opts to punt it away instead of going for it. It’s fair caught and San Francisco takes back over at its own 9.

6:39 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN 49ers. On the first play after the interception, the Niners call on Deebo Samuel out of the backfield and he carries it and takes it 25 yards to the house. 49ers 23, Cowboys 7 with 5:50 left in the third. 

6:38 p.m.: INTERCEPTION 49ers. Prescott’s pass on second-and-28 from their own 19 is picked off and San Francisco takes over at the Dallas 25 primed to score.

6:38 p.m.: Prescott is sacked on first-and-long. Now it’s second-and-28 back at the Dallas 19 as the Cowboys are struggling here early in the second half.

6:36 p.m.: On second-and-10, Prescott finds Schultz for 14 yards and an easy first down at the Dallas 37. But the gain essentially gets wiped out on a Dallas penalty, making it first-and-15 from their own 42 for the Cowboys.

6:32 p.m.: The 49ers get some breathing room and make it to their 34, but they can’t convert on third down and will punt it away for the first time today. Dallas takes back over at its own 23.

6:27 p.m.: On third-and-5, Garoppolo hits Jauan Jennings for 13 yards up to the San Francisco 25. Now much more breathing room for the Niners.

6:26 p.m.: San Francisco’s defense gets dealt a major blow as star defensive end Nick Bosa is out for the rest of the game.

6:23 p.m.: Anger’s punt is downed at the 7, where the Niners will take over for their first drive of the second half.

6:19 p.m.: On third-and-7 from their own 45, Prescott’s pass falls incomplete and the Cowboys will punt it away.

6:18 p.m.: Prescott is sacked on third-and-24 and they punt it away, but San Francisco gets called for roughing the kicker, so now it’s back to first-and-10 for Dallas.

6:17 p.m.: On third-and-9, the Cowboys get hit with a second consecutive penalty. Now third-and-24 from the Dallas 21.

6:15 p.m.: Dallas won the toss and deferred, which means they get the ball here to start the second half.

Halftime: 49ers 16, Cowboys 7

6:01 p.m.: Nothing comes of that drive and we head to halftime with San Francisco up 9.

5:57 p.m.: Looking at third-and-20 from the San Francisco 49, Dallas punts it away on fourth down. The ball is spotted at the Niners’ 3 with 22 seconds left for San Francisco.

5:51 p.m.: On third-and-10 from their own 35, Prescott hits tight end Dalton Schultz for the first time today. Now first-and-10 for Dallas from their 47 after the 12 yard gain.

5:48 p.m.: The two-minute warning arrives with Dallas facing first-and-10 from their own 35.

5:41 p.m.: FIELD GOAL 49ers. Robbie Gould remains perfect on the day, nailing his third field goal, this one from 52. San Francisco extends its lead late here in the first half. 49ers 16, Cowboys 7 with 3:30 left in the second.

5:40 p.m.: Despite that nice play to open up the drive, the Niners will have to settle for a field goal attempt from 52 yards out.

5:38 p.m.: San Francisco responds nicely to the Dallas touchdown with a big play right off the bat. Garoppolo hits Brandon Aiyuk for 37 yards and now San Francisco is quickly inside the Dallas 40.

5:33 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN DALLAS. Prescott heaves it up as he drops it perfectly into the arms of Amari Cooper for 20 yards and a score. 49ers 13, Dallas 7 with 5:19 left in the second.

5:30 p.m.: The Cowboys are opting to keep it on the ground here so far. Runs of 5, 5 and 8 yards put the Cowboys near midfield.

5:29 p.m.: Dallas gets a nice return on the kickoff as they’ll start at their own 33.

5:25 p.m.: FIELD GOAL 49ers. Gould hits his second field goal of the game and San Francisco extends its lead. 49ers 13, Cowboys 0 with 9:40 left in the second.

5:24 p.m.: On third-and-3, San Francisco can’t convert and it’s now fourth-and-1. Robbie Gould comes out for a 40 yard attempt.

5:23 p.m.: Brandon Aiyuk makes an impressive play on third-and-9, hauling it in for the catch and extending for the first down.

5:20 p.m.: The 49ers with a big impact play to start the second quarter. Garoppolo hits Deebo Samuel for 19 yards as they’re across midfield to the Dallas 42.

End first quarter: 49ers 10, Cowboys 0

5:17 p.m.: The second down play goes for a loss of 1 to end the quarter. San Francisco will come out for the second looking at third-and-2 from their own 40.

5:15 p.m:  San Francisco calls its first timeout of the half with 16 seconds left in the first quarter. They’re looking at second-and-1 from their own 41.

5:14 p.m.: On third-and-5, Dallas gets hit with a penalty for neutral zone infraction. Makes it a first down now for the Niners. Dallas is the league’s most penalized team this year.

5:09 p.m.: Dallas does in fact go three-and-out after all. San Francisco takes back over at its own 22.

5:07 p.m.: On second-and-10, the Cowboys get a bit more breathing room as they’re up to their own 19 now after a gain of 10.

5:05 p.m.: Dallas takes over at Its own 9 following a penalty against the Cowboys on the kick return.

5:02 p.m.: FIELD GOAL 49ers. Robbie Gould splits the uprights from 53 yards out and it’s now a two-score game for San Francisco. 49ers 10, Cowboys 0 with 4:53 left in the game.

5:00 p.m.: A pass behind the line of scrimamge that goes for a loss of 11 and then a penalty that drives the Niners back has them looking at third-and-21 from the Dallas 35.

4:59 p.m.: San Francisco keeping it on the ground here this drive. A third-straight run by Mitchell as the Niners are currently at the Dallas 29.

4:56 p.m.: Garoppolo hits Jauan Jennings for 11 yards on third-and-10 to keep their second drive of the game alive. San Francisco now across midfield at the Dallas 47.

4:51 p.m.: A rough opening drive for the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott is dropped for a loss of 3 on second down and Dak Prescott is sacked for a loss of 10 on third down. They punt it away and go three-and-out to start.

4:46 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN 49ers. Elijah Mitchell takes it 4 yards for the early score. San Francisco 7, Dallas 0 as the Niners march 75 yards in 4:06 to open the scoring.

4:46 p.m.: A gain of 15 on a wide receiver screen makes it four straight plays of 10-plus yards.

4:45 p.m.: Back-to-back big plays for San Francisco. An 11-yard catch by Brandon Aiyuk followed by a 13-yard run by Elijah Mitchell and the Niners are inside the red zone now at the Dallas 19.

4:44 p.m.: The first pass of the game for the Niners is a 17-yard gain to Travis Benjamin to put San Francisco across midfield. First-and-10 now from the Dallas 43.

4:42 p.m.: Deebo Samuel making himself known early as he lines up at running back and takes it for 9 yards and the first down. After a gain of 1, it’s now second-and-9.

4:40 p.m.: The opening kick goes for a touchback and San Francisco starts this game at its own 25.

4:39 p.m.: Dallas wins the toss and defers. The 49ers will receive the opening kick and start this game with the ball.

49ers vs. Cowboys start time 

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 16
  • Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. PT

The second of three games on Sunday, this game will kickoff at 4:30 p.m. ET from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

What channel is 49ers vs. Cowboys on today? 

The Cowboys and 49ers will be covered by both CBS and Nickelodeon.

On the CBS broadcast, Jim Nantz and Tony Romo will be in the booth and Tracy Wolfson will be reporting from the sidelines. Noah Eagle, Nate Burleson and Gabrielle Nevaeh Green will be on the Nickelodeon broadcast, with Dylan Gilmer on the sideline.

In Canada, viewers can watch 49ers vs. Cowboys with a subscription to DAZN, which includes every NFL game.

NFL playoff schedule: Wild Card round 

Saturday, Jan. 9 

Matchup Start time TV channel
Raiders at Bengals 4:30 p.m. ET NBC
Patriots at Bills 8:15 p.m. ET CBS

Sunday, Jan. 10 

Matchup Start time TV channel
Eagles at Buccaneers 1 p.m. ET FOX
49ers at Cowboys 4:30 p.m. ET CBS
Steelers at Chiefs 8:15 p.m. ET NBC

Monday, Jan. 11 

Matchup Start time TV channel
Cardinals at Rams 8:15 p.m. ET ABC, ESPN, ESPN2

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