SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14: Vernon Davis #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with head coach Jim Harbaugh after Davis scored a touchdown in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The Dallas Cowboys beat the San Francisco 49ers in "The Stick" with Tony Romo playing with a collapsed lung and broken ribs with a stunning overtime victory in what ended up being the Cowboys' best win of 2011 back in Week 2.
The Cowboys had the New York Giants against the ropes before Eli Manning led a remarkable comeback down by double digits with under five minutes to play on Sunday Night Football before the Giants embarrassed them in Week 17 in the Meadowlands.
So the Cowboys could say they are just as good as the teams playing for the NFC Championship on Sunday, and the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. But they're obviously not.
The 49ers are a much different team than they were back in Week 2. Jim Harbaugh has settled into a groove as an NFL head coach and will be the runaway winner of the NFL Coach of the Year award after the season's conclusion after taking the 49ers from 6-10 to 13-3 and hosting an NFC Championship.
Remember back to the days of the 49ers hosting NFC Championship Games and it'll make you sad if you're a Cowboys fan because the Cowboys were actually really good back in those days.
The Giants are fully healthy now for the first time all season and are hitting their proper stride at exactly the right time, exactly like they did back in their 2007 Super Bowl run. The only difference? They now have an elite, top-5 NFL quarterback in Eli Manning.
So how's it feel, Cowboys fans? The 49ers are one of those teams that make the league good when they're good. The Cowboys are one of those teams too. We're just waiting around for the Cowboys to come through on their end of the bargain.