DALLAS — They call it living in "enemy territory."
"People love their Cowboys just like Niners fans love the Niners," North Texas resident TJ Michalow said. "Of course, I’m going to say that I expect San Francisco to win [on Sunday]."
Michalow is part of the DFW chapter of the Niners Empire, a social media group of North Texans whose NFL loyalties lie with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Dallas Cowboys will host the San Francisco 49ers at AT&T Stadium for a wild card playoff game at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. It's a highly anticipated matchup that squares two storied NFL franchises -- teams that regularly faced each other in the playoffs throughout the '90s -- against each other once more.
"I think we’ll find out Sunday and see on Sunday that there’s a lot more 49ers fans here than people realize," Michalow said.
Anastasio Silva was born and raised in Ennis. He’s a member of the Niners Empire, too.
"It's always been a house divided, if you will, between families," Silva said. "As soon as we found out we were playing Dallas, we're like, 'Well, it's time to get tickets. It's time to start planning for a party. A takeover.'"
The price tag hasn't scared Silva off, though. He said he paid just over $1,000 himself for four tickets that are, by his own account, "not the greatest seats in the world."
Michalow bought a pair of tickets for himself, too. And while he paid a different kind of price, he says he'd do it again in a heartbeat.
"I kind of sweet-talked my wife into letting me buy tickets," he said. "I would sell a kidney to go."
49er fans have filled the stands at AT&T Stadium before. In 2014, when the Cowboys hosted the 49ers in their season-opening matchup, TV cameras famously caught an overwhelming number of red jerseys spread out throughout what one would normally expect to be a Cowboys-dominated cheering section.
This week, the Cowboys are on the offensive, hoping to prevent another "sea of red" in the stadium on Sunday.
"Just don’t want to see a lot of the other team, the other fans would be a preference," Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday.
Team owner Jerry Jones echoed that sentiment, but admitted the difficulties of locking out opposing fans from purchasing tickets to his team's home games en masse.
"Well, I have no control," Jones said in an interview on 105.3-FM The Fan on Tuesday. "I know that we have the highest priced resale ticket across the board throughout the stadium as we speak right today and yesterday. And so you’re getting a huge runup in the price of tickets, which shows the kind of demand there is. And, consequently, you don’t control it. You don’t want to control that. You want the market to be there. And it is there."
So, is there nothing the Cowboys can do to keep Niners fans like Michalow and Silva from showing up in force on Sunday?
"When you have a stadium the size of that, you’re going to have opposing jerseys in there," Jones said. "I welcome it. I think it’s a great atmosphere."
Still, the Cowboys will be doing one thing to try and maintain keep Niners fans from infringing on their home field advantage on Sunday: They're asking all Cowboys fans to come to Sunday's game dressed in all white.
"It’ll be a Cowboys’ home game," Jones said. "There’s no question about it. A home playoff game. And it’ll be roaring."