Before Monday night, the Cowboys hadn’t won a road playoff game since 1992. They beat the 49ers 30-20 in the NFC Championship Game that season before delivering Jerry Jones the first of his three Lombardi Trophies.
The Cowboys had some road heartbreaks in the interim, losing in Seattle in 2006 when Tony Romo dropped the snap on a field goal attempt and losing in Green Bay in 2014 in the “Dez caught it” game. They were 0-8 in the postseason on the road since the win in San Francisco in 1992.
Thirty years was a long time to go, with only 12 players on the team’s 53-player roster even alive then.
“This is about the 2022 Cowboys and the Buccaneers,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s as simple and as clean as that. I know it might not be sexy, . . . but we’re excited to be able to go to San Francisco.”
The Cowboys haven’t been to the NFC Championship Game since 1995, which also is the last time they won the Super Bowl. They will have to beat the 49ers to get to the championship game this season. Then, if the Eagles beat the Giants, the Cowboys would have to go on the road to beat Philadelphia to reach the Super Bowl.
“Can it be done? We’ll find out,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “But this team has a talent level and now has the intangible experiences that getting knocked down, getting up – all of those things we hear about, all of those things that represent football, all of that stuff, this team has had some of that. Everybody on this team knew that when they came to Tampa today that the world thought that Tom [Brady] would be sitting out there snatching it out, if not the last minute then maybe even earlier. And we’re getting to go home and get to go home again in San Francisco. We’ve got more mustard than when we got here.”
The Cowboys dominated Brady and the Bucs from start to finish. The game never was in doubt, even with No. 12 on the other side.
Jones, while acknowledging the Cowboys’ blown chances to win another title, especially when they had home-field advantage, likes where his team is right here, right now.
“I like to think that we can put something together that can go win it,” Jones said. “That’s very evasive, been very evasive for us. We’ve got a team here tonight that has enough skill in my opinion to go win it, and now we have some experiences that will build the intangible. So, I think we gained on it tonight.”