The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers shouldn’t need more reasons to bring their best on Sunday, but one Niners star isn’t forgetting his time in Dallas.
The two NFC franchises square off at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, with a spot in the NFC Championship on the line. For 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward, there is the additional factor of being a former Cowboy.
Dallas picked up Ward as an undrafted free agent in 2018, but traded him to the Kansas City Chiefs before the regular season. Ahead of the Cowboys and 49ers’ clash, Ward is calling out Dallas for a “terrible trade.”
“They traded me, so I had a chip on my shoulder, to show them they made a mistake,” Ward said according to Bay Area News’ Cam Imman. “It was a terrible trade for them.”
Ward did pick off Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott last season while playing for the Chiefs, but he now meets up again with Dallas in a much different situation: win or go home.
49ers CB Struggles in Wild Card Round
In the 2022 offseason, San Francisco’s biggest move in free agency was picking up Ward. He had become a free agent after his time in Kansas City, picking up his first big payday in the league with the 49ers.
Ward has not waivered in his starting role, but he did have a day to forget in the Wild Card round win over the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers corner had a tall order with Seahawks star D.K. Metcalf, but really could not find much success in general.
According to Pro Football Reference, Ward was targeted by Seattle QB Geno Smith nine times. He gave up seven receptions for 105 yards and a score, equating to a 152.3 QB rating for Smith.
Dallas can’t expect Ward to have a similar outing this weekend, but they will be looking to abuse Ward the way the Seahawks did. It will be interesting to see if the Cowboys will avoid or go after Ward, and how Ward will play against his former team.
Cowboys Make Roster Moves
While Ward is speaking his mind on his time in Dallas, the Cowboys announced a pair of roster moves on January 19 as they prepare for their road trip to California.
Previously injured players WR Simi Fehoko and linebacker Devin Harper had their injury reserve practice windows opened up this week, giving them a chance to potentially hit the field against the 49ers.
“The 21-day practice window has been activated for both wide receiver Simi Fehoko and linebacker Devin Harper, allowing them to return to practice for the first time since suffering their respective injuries,” the Cowboys’ official roster update says. “Fehoko was a star in training camp in July and Harper has also shown flashes, both providing possible depth if ultimately activated to the 53-man roster from IR.”
That being said, expecting two players to hit the field shortly after being lifted off injury reserve could be too optimistic. Dallas may just be looking to have them ready for next week should the Cowboys beat San Francisco and reach the NFC Championship.