'A Tale of Two Cities' -- NFL Films' 'The Timeline' Examines San Francisco-Dallas Rivalry

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'A Tale of Two Cities' -- NFL Films' 'The Timeline' Examines San Francisco-Dallas Rivalry

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​Actors Jeremy Renner & Sam Elliott Narrate Two-Part Film​​

Premieres Tuesday, December 15 at 8:00 PM ET (Part 1) & Saturday, December 19 Following Jets-Cowboys (Part 2) on NFL Network

December 14, 2015: NFL Network's new documentary series The Timeline from NFL Films continues with A Tale of Two Cities, a two-part film examining the rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, and the incredible impact each franchise has had on its city.

Part 1 of A Tale of Two Cities premieres Tuesday, December 15 at 8:00 PM ET on NFL Network and Part 2 premieres Saturday, December 19 following the New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys Thursday Night Football game. Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner and actor Sam Elliott lend their voices to the film.

A Tale of Two Cities features sitdown interviews with several prominent members of the 49ers-Cowboys rivalry including Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Jerry Jones, Troy Aikman, Eddie DeBartolo, Steve Young, Jimmy Johnson, as well as politicians Diane Feinstein, Condoleezza Rice and Ron Kirk.

On the surface, no two cities could be more different than San Francisco and Dallas. But thanks to a unique football relationship that evolved over the course of three decades, they came to have much in common. In these two distinct locations, two football and cultural stories were being written simultaneously, until one day they would be so intertwined as to produce a third narrative: the tale of the greatest NFL rivalry of the Super Bowl era.

Among the topics discussed in A Tale of Two Cities are:

  • The Cowboys' victories over the 49ers in the playoffs in three consecutive seasons from 1970-72
  • How the Cowboys helped to change the national perception of the city of Dallas
  • The struggles the city of San Francisco faced in the late 1970s
  • How the 49ers rose to prominence in the 1980s through the hiring of head coach Bill Walsh and the selection of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice in the NFL Draft
  • The trade of Charles Haley from the 49ers to the Cowboys
  • The playoff meetings between the 49ers and Cowboys in the 1990s

A Tale of Two Cities includes interviews with the following people and more:

Troy Aikman – Former Cowboys quarterback

Dwight Clark – Former 49ers tight end

Eric Davis – Former 49ers cornerback

Eddie DeBartolo – Former 49ers owner

Tony Dorsett – Former Cowboys running back

Dr. Harry Edwards – 49ers special consultant

Sen. Diane Feinstein – Former Mayor of San Francisco

Charles Haley – Former 49ers and Cowboys defensive end

Grant Hill – Former NBA player and Cowboys fan

Jimmy Johnson – Former Cowboys head coach

Daryl Johnson – Former Cowboys fullback

Jerry Jones – Cowboys owner, president and general manager

Joe Montana – Former 49ers quarterback

Ken Norton Jr. – Former 49ers and Cowboys linebacker

Carmen Policy – Former 49ers president

Condoleezza Rice – Former Secretary of State and 49ers fan

Jerry Rice – Former 49ers wide receiver

Rob Schneider – Comedian and 49ers fan

Emmitt Smith – Former Cowboys running back

Roger Staubach – Former Cowboys quarterback

Steve Young – Former 49ers quarterback

Provided below are premiere dates for the remaining episodes of The Timeline:

  • The Merger – Thursday, December 24 Following Thursday Night Football
  • America's Game and the Iran Hostage Crisis – Saturday, December 26 Following Thursday Night Football

Airing throughout the month of December and into the new year, The Timeline features six, hour-long episodes chronicling seminal moments that formed the NFL's storied past, shape the present and, in some cases, set the stage for the future.

On digital platforms, there are several ways to access a live feed of all NFL Network programming, including The Timeline. Verizon Wireless customers using the free-to-download NFL Mobile app on smartphones have access to NFL Network included with their Verizon service. Fans can also access live streaming video of NFL Network through NFL.com/Watch on desktop, the Watch NFL Network app on tablets, and the NFL on Xbox app (Xbox 360 and One), for eligible subscribers of AT&T U-verse, Charter, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Optimum, Verizon FiOS and many more providers. 

Provided below are some select quotes from A Tale of Two Cities:

- "Both franchises overcame phenomenal tragedies and made contributions that were so far beyond the confines of the arena. The Cowboys changed the image of Dallas to the point that the first thing people think of when you say Dallas is not an assassination of a president but the Dallas Cowboys. When you talk about San Francisco, you think about the Catch; you don't think about AIDS, you don't think about Jonestown, you don't think about the assassination of mayor and a popular supervisor. It was much broader than football because of what both teams had overcome and the pride that they took." – Harry Edwards

- "I was actually a Cowboys fan growing up. I loved the star and they were just bigger than life." – Dwight Clark

- "They were I guess you could say pretty much the laughing stock. People were taking advantage of them, beating them up pretty good." – Tony Dorsett on the San Francisco 49ers in the late 1970s

- "When I took over the 49ers, I think you tried to pattern yourself after the best. At the time, the Cowboys I think were the best." – Eddie DeBartolo

- "I would have thrown it away a lot earlier than that if I was throwing it away. I certainly didn't want to get knocked down if I'm throwing the ball away." – Joe Montana on The Catch

- "That loss and that game it hurt the Cowboys. It was a sign the '80s weren't going to be as fun as the '70s." – Roger Staubach on the 1981 NFC Championship Game

- "I could truly say that the first Super Bowl victory united a fractured city. People took great pride in something going right." – Diane Feinstein on San Francisco

- "I was a Dallas Cowboys fan. That was my dream team. As a kid growing up, I always wanted to play for Dallas." – Jerry Rice

- "I was very depressed, and then Jerry Jones picked me up at the airport. He wanted to look in my eyes and let me know that he took a chance on me and what am I going to do. That was a game-changer for me because I've never had anybody like that do something like that." – Charles Haley on the trade from the 49ers to the Cowboys

- "It's my most bitter loss in my career. It's the one that sticks with me." – Steve Young on the 1992 NFC Championship Game


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