Editor's Note: Sportswriter Ray Didinger is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and an NFL Insider with our sister network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
Sizing up the NFC championship game between the New York Giants (11-7) and San Francisco 49ers (14-3) at Candlestick Park.
The StorylineNo one expected these teams to be the last two standing in the NFC. The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints were the two powerhouse teams that appeared on a collision course for the title, but the Giants and 49ers had other ideas. Now they play with the winner moving on to the Super Bowl.
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The Dallas Cowboys made a show of unity before their game against the Arizona Cardinals, but it wasn't during the national anthem.
The Dallas players all kneeled with owner Jerry Jones and his family before a giant American flag was unfurled, drawing some boos from the Cardinals fans. They rose arm-in-arm just before the singing of the anthem.
Jones has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump and it was unclear if his team would protest during the anthem, as teams across the NFL did Sunday. The Cowboys kneeled near the 50-yard line.
The Cardinals gathered on the goal line as a team, some of them locking arms, during the anthem. Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell and his family and general manager Steve Keim joined them.
The 49ers signed LB Mark Nzeocha from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad to a one-year deal, the team announced.
In order to make room on the roster, the team has placed DL Tank Carradine on the Injured Reserve List.
Nzeocha (6-3, 240) was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round (236th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Over the past two seasons (2015-16), he appeared in eight games and registered four tackles. He was waived by the Cowboys on September 3, 2017 and signed to the team’s practice squad on September 5.
A 27-year-old native of Ansbach, Bavaria in Germany, Nzeocha attended the University of Wyoming. He appeared in 39 games (26 starts) and finished his career with 207 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Nzeocha will wear number 46.
Carradine (6-4, 270) appeared in each of the team’s first three games this season (two starts), where he registered seven tackles and one sack.
San Francisco 49ers media services