The Cowboys and 49ers will meet for the eighth time in postseason history on Sunday, but most of the players in the game probably don’t know that.
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan, whose father was on the 49ers’ coaching staff when they played the Cowboys in three consecutive NFC Championship Games in the 1990s, says his current players don’t know about those games. And they also don’t know about “The Catch,” when Dwight Clark’s touchdown sent the 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 1981 season. And they certainly don’t know that the Cowboys beat the 49ers in each of the first two NFC Championship Games, in 1970 and 1971.
“Not at all,” Shanahan said when asked if today’s players know that history, via NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I wish I could say yes, but I mean, some of these players were born in the 2000s.”
Shanahan said the three great NFC Championship Games in the 1990s were a major part of his formative years.
“That was a part of my childhood that was just such cool football, because everyone knew those three NFC Championships, those three years, those were the Super Bowl,” Shanahan said.
The 42-year-old Shanahan said the generational disconnect with today’s players goes beyond football.
“Every day in the quarterback room I ask them questions from Wedding Crashers and stuff, and they don’t know what that is sometimes. You’d be very surprised at the difference in some of this stuff.”
Perhaps Sunday’s game can provide another great moment in NFL playoff history, that a future generation of players can know nothing about.