|Mike Powell/Getty Images|
|Deion Sanders' ability and swagger gave the 49ers the edge they needed against the talented Cowboys.|
This marked the third consecutive year the teams were facing off in the conference final, and the pressure was clearly on San Francisco, which had dropped the previous two meetings. The 49ers sought to overtake the two-time defending Super Bowl champs by signing a number of free agents, notable among them cornerback Deion Sanders, whose playmaking and swagger were sorely needed. The 49ers capitalized on three first-quarter takeaways, turning each one into a touchdown while building a 31-14 halftime lead.