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Although Jason Garrett’s job as the Cowboys head coach always seems to be in flux, Dallas is coming off a 10-6 season in 2018 in which the team won the NFC East. They’ve compiled a 32-16 record in the past three seasons. The Cowboys—who will face the 49ers in a preseason game on NFL Network on Saturday night that you can live stream for free—are looking for more this year. In effect, Dallas wants to make a Super Bowl run.
The 49ers, meanwhile, haven’t been a great team in the past half-decade, wrapping up a 4-12 season last year. They’re currently trying to rebuild with their fourth head coach since 2014. But San Francisco still has hope that they can compete for a playoff spot in the NFC West.
It’s America’s Team vs. one of the most successful NFL franchises of the 1990s. Here’s everything you need to know to find a Cowboys vs. 49ers live stream.
Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
- When: Saturday, Aug. 10 at 9pm ET
- Where: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California
- Streaming: NFL Network (free trials with various streaming services)
How to watch the Cowboys vs. 49ers online
The Cowboys vs. 49ers game continues the NFL Network’s run of nationally televising the first week of the preseason, but even if you’ve cut the cable cord or you want to watch it on your mobile device, there are plenty of ways to accomplish that. But first, you’ll need to get acquainted with NFL Network.
What is NFL Network?
If you want to be immersed in pro football, NFL Network is the place to go. There’s plenty to love about NFL Network, including the ability to watch exclusive shows like Good Morning Football, NFL Total Access, A Football Life, Inside the NFL, and most importantly, Sunday’s NFL GameDay once the regular season begins. There’s also daily programming devoted to power rankings and fantasy football that football lovers will geek out over. NFL Network shows most Thursday night games during the regular season, and it’ll exclusively show some of the international games in 2019. Take note, though: NFL Network can no longer be seen via DirecTV Now.
The bottom line: If you want to get closer to the action and catch (almost) every Thursday Night Football game, you need NFL Network.
Cowboys vs. 49ers live stream: How to watch NFL Network
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
If you want to watch the Cowboys vs. 49ers online via Sling TV, you’ll need to be subscribed to either Sling Blue ($25 per month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month). Both of those packages include NFL Network and a number of sports channels—like three ESPN channels, NBCSN, and FS1—and it’s still a nice perk that Sling subscribers can order a la carte packages. Sling TV also offers a special Latino package for bilingual viewers. Sling TV is currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first month of your subscription. That means Sling Blue would cost $15, and Sling Orange + Blue would cost $25. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
- Cost: $54.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
If you’re a big-time sports fan, FuboTV is your best streaming service option. If you love international soccer and you’re a Spanish speaker, FuboTV also offers various add-on packages, including Fubo Latino and Fubo Português. FuboTV’s basic plan showcases nearly 100 channels and includes NFL Network. At $54.99 per month, you’ll also get FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, Pac 12 Network, BeIn Sports, and CBS Sports Network, along with premium channels like FX/FXX/FXM. The only notable omission for sports fans is ESPN. You can add Fubo’s Sports Plus package for an additional $8.99 per month, which allows you to stream NFL RedZone, (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.)
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 5-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
Other ways to watch NFL Network online
1) The NFL app
Cost: Depends on provider
Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, PS4, Roku, Android RV, iOS and Android devices
If you subscribe to NFL Network through a cable provider—or you know someone who does and they owe you a relatively large favor—you can also watch via the official NFL app. All you have to do is download it from your streaming device of choice—Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, PS4, Roku, or Android TV—and then enter in your cable credentials when prompted. You can also stream on any iOS or Android device, or on your desktop. Just visit nfl.com/watch.
Cowboys vs. 49ers: Why it matters
The biggest storyline currently surrounding Dallas is the status of star running back Ezekiel Elliott. There’s little doubt that Elliott—who has led the league in rushing twice so far in his three-year career—is the most important player on the roster, and he’s using that leverage as much as possible. For now, he’s holding out for a new contract, and though it seems unlikely he’d sit out the entire season, it’s at least a possibility. But that gives fourth-round draft pick Tony Pollard, who has had a good training camp so far, the chance to continue to impress in the absence of Elliott on Saturday.
Even without Elliott, though, Dallas has plenty of high-impact players. Quarterback Dak Prescott is coming off a solid season, and longtime tight end Jason Witten is back after taking last year off to sit in the Monday Night Football booth.
As for San Francisco, remember that three-year span from 2011-2013 when the 49ers posted records of 13-3, 11-4-1, and 12-4 and nearly won a Super Bowl? That seems like ancient history, right? After the departure of Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco has cycled through Jim Tomsula, Chip Kelly, and Kyle Shanahan. This is Shanahan’s third year in charge, and at some point, 49ers fans would like to see a team that’s capable of putting together a winning record. Perhaps the biggest question entering the season is the health of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s coming off a torn ACL which helped ruin San Francisco’s season last year. He won’t play Saturday, meaning we’ll get to see the competition to be his backup between Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard. But isn’t that why you tune in to preseason games in the first place?
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Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.