Shortly after the 49ers triumphed with a 19-12 Divisional Round win against the Cowboys, Samuel posted to Instagram with the quote, “Don’t poke the bear.”
He singled out Parsons in particular with the post, putting up his picture with his quote that said, “This is who I wanted,” in reference to the 49ers, who ended the Cowboys’ season last year as well. Parsons was quick to bark back with a reply.
“Lol what did you do today fam lol ?! But congrats on the win! But don’t put me in this weak ass slide,” Parsons wrote.
The initial quote from Parsons actually showed a bit of respect for the 49ers ahead of the matchup, knowing that they had to face them at some point if they wanted to get to the Super Bowl.
“I’m super excited. This is who I wanted. People like to go around, ‘If they lose here, then we get [a different opponent] …’ Nah, this the three-headed dragon,” Parsons told reporters. “We need to cut one of the heads off. I don’t care who it is. We gotta line it up. Either way, you’ve gotta meet them at some point. I’d rather now than later.”
Parsons on Loss: 49ers ‘Made Bigger Plays’
Parsons’ response garnered quite of bit of backing, with more than 11,000 likes. And in the All-Pro linebacker’s defense, they did limit Samuel. He caught four passes for 45 yards and managed just 11 yards on four carries.
Parsons recorded four tackles but didn’t get to San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy for a sack. He added a pass deflection and quarterback hit and also showed off his strength with a monster pass-rush move that sent 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey flying to the turf.
As a whole, the Cowboys’ defense did a good job of containing the 49ers’ explosive attack. San Francisco managed 312 total yards of offense but were able to punch it into the end zone just once — a 2-yard run from Christan McCaffrey in the fourth quarter.
“The league is very repetitive. Things that hurt us early on are the same things that hurt us now. We have to find a way to fix it or we are going to be in the same situation,” Parsons said after the loss. “I don’t think we really ran out of gas. How can someone say that? … I think everybody left it out there. But [the 49ers] made bigger plays.”
Dak Prescott Calls Cowboys’ Offensive Performance Unacceptable
While the defense did its part for most of the night, the offense failed to find a semblance of consistency. Dak Prescott tossed two costly interceptions and the ground game managed just 76 total yards. Tony Pollard exiting the game before half with a high ankle sprain and fractured fibula did not help their cause.
“Just disappointment,” Prescott said. “Defense gave us an opportunity to win this game. They played hard against a really, really good offense, a really good team. For us to only put up the points that we did, that’s unacceptable. It starts with me. I’ve got to be better. There’s no other way to sugarcoat it.”
The Cowboys have a solid core but will have to make decisions on some key pieces this offseason. Tight end Dalton Schultz, Pollard, safety Donovan Wilson and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and a handful of other players are set to be unrestricted free agents.