Mere seconds after the Dallas Cowboys officially had their first playoff opponent, a plea was made online.
PLEASE DO NOT SELL PLAYOFF TICKETS TO 49ERS FANS— Cowboys Nation (@CowboysNation) January 10, 2022
“PLEASE DO NOT SELL PLAYOFF TICKETS TO 49ERS FANS,” a Twitter account called @CowboysNation tweeted last Sunday, moments after San Francisco rookie corner Ambry Thomas had a game-winning interception against the Los Angeles Rams to send the 49ers to the playoffs.
Adreana Corralejo, the captain of a Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of 49ers fans called Niner Empire, saw the tweet. She came across it a couple of hours after they had finished celebrating the win at Walk-On’s Sports Bistraux in Arlington, their usual game day hangout. She found it funny.
“Honestly, my reaction was,” she started before a slight pause, “too late.”
By that point, Corralejo, an Irving resident, had already purchased tickets. She even started planning tailgates and events for 49ers fans traveling to Arlington for the wild-card game. It took one day for the game’s cheapest tickets to triple in price online, but she doesn’t think that will deter fans. She’s planning for a 49ers invasion of AT&T Stadium, and it wouldn’t be the first time.
There’s plenty of history between the 49ers and the Cowboys. The team of the ‘80s vs. the team of the ‘90s playing Sunday in the postseason for the first time since Jan. 1995. In more recent memory, one game that sticks out was the 2014 season opener at AT&T Stadium. The 49ers won 28-17 in front of a crowd that looked almost as red as it did blue and white, and at certain points sounded so.
“We’re very infamous for being called a sea of red,” Corralejo said, “and that’s what it’s going to be like.”
It happened last Sunday in Los Angeles. San Francisco fans were so loud at SoFi Stadium that Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford reportedly used a silent count to combat the noise.
“It was a tough environment for us to communicate in, really, the whole second half,” Stafford said.
49ers linebacker Fred Warner added: “It felt like a home game.”
Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, now an analyst for Fox Sports, was at the 49ers game against the Rams. He pointed out multiple times during the broadcast how loud San Francisco fans were. In his weekly interview on 96.7 FM/1310 AM The Ticket on Tuesday, Aikman talked about how “defeating” that can be for a team.
“Now, this game, I don’t know how they get their access to tickets,” Aikman said. “Dallas fans do a pretty good job filling that stadium, so I’d be shocked if it’s even remotely close to what we experienced in Los Angeles.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones agrees, but he also welcomes the attempt. On 105.3 The Fan, Jones described ticket interest — which he said has climbed to the highest resale price “across the board” in the last two days — as a market, and as a businessman he knows that’s not something to control. He thinks it’ll create a great playoff atmosphere for a stadium he hopes will hold almost 100,000 on Sunday.
“It will be a Cowboys home game,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan when asked about a potential invasion of 49ers fans. “There’s no question — home playoff game — and it will be roaring.”
And inevitably, it seems there’s no question that the 49ers will have a larger than normal opposing fan contingent at AT&T Stadium. It’s a matchup between two of the most historic and valuable franchises in sports. It’s also two brands that attract national fans, rather than just local ones.
Corralejo can relate. She’s a West Texas native who grew up in a Cowboys family. That changed in the 1994 NFC Championship game, when she and her first husband made a high-stakes wager. If her Cowboys won, then her Californian-turned-Texan husband would have to give up the red and gold and become a Cowboys fan, too. If the 49ers won, she’d do the opposite, much to the chagrin of her family.
The 49ers won that game and won the Super Bowl two weeks later.
“I converted, I learned everything I could about it, and I’ve been faithful ever since,” she said of her 49ers fandom.
Twenty-seven years later, she’s not willing to bet on her allegiances again. She is, however, willing to bet that she’ll be one of many 49ers fans at AT&T Stadium on Sunday.