The storied rivalry between the 49ers and Dallas Cowboys is all the motivation either team needed for their Week 5 meeting, but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan decided to take things up a notch.
The night before the "Sunday Night Football" clash, Shanahan showed a clip of Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence during a team meeting in an effort to pump up his squad. In the video, Lawrence proclaimed the NFL world just witnessed "the best defense in the world" after Dallas' 30-10 Week 2 victory over the New York Jets.
"We don’t care about [anybody] else," Lawrence said. "They’ve got to come match our energy, and nobody can do it.”
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Three weeks later, their energy not only was matched, but it was greatly surpassed by San Francisco's dominant defense in the 49ers' 42-10 blowout win over the Cowboys at Levi's Stadium.
San Francisco third-year cornerback Deommodore Lenoir told The San Francisco Chronicle's Mike Silver after the game that Shanahan showed them the clip of Lawrence and grew even more fired up for Sunday night. And after the dominant win, Lenoir shared his own opinion on who the best defense in the league is.
“Man, I told y’all: We’re the best defense in the league, and we’re the best team in the league,” Lenoir told Silver. “They were into the [hype]. They wanted all the clicks and stuff. We play football. That’s what we do.
"We don’t worry about any of the outside noise. We just line up and play four quarters.”
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. told Silver the video set the tone for the primetime matchup.
“It was probably the best highlight tape yet," Gipson said. "Those type of things, we take personal. Until somebody can show us different, we take that personally.”
And the video didn't just fire up the 49ers' defense.
San Francisco's star-studded offense was just as hyped for the game, and some players couldn't even sleep.
“Let’s just say we were pretty fired up," Kyle Juszczyk told Silver. "We were like, ‘We’re supposed to go to sleep now?’ "
It's safe to say the video worked as motivation, and Shanahan likely will continue similar tactics in an effort to sustain their flawless 5-0 record.