Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers preview for Super Wild Card Weekend

Trysten Hill, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Trysten Hill, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Cowboys and 49ers Defensive MVPs

123. . . . LB/DE. Micah Parsons. . player

This is a no-brainer. It’s very rare for a rookie to be in contention for Defensive Player of the Year, but that’s where Micah Parsons stands. He is one of the favorites due to his dominance as a linebacker and edge rusher.

If “The Lion” wins the highly-coveted award, he would be only the second rookie to accomplish that feat. The other player was Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor. That’s the company that you want to be in.

He sits at sixth in the NFL with 13.0 sacks, third for tackles for a loss with 20, and generates some of the most pressures leaguewide. That is all while splitting time as a pass rusher. Yes, Parsons is leading the majority of the NFL’s pass rushers despite doing it part-time. He has proven that a great defender can play all over the field.

He doesn’t slack off in coverage either, allowing just over a 60 percent completion percentage for an average of 7.3 yards per catch and hasn’t allowed a touchdown. That’s impressive for anyone, never mind a rookie linebacker that some call a pass rusher.

He sadly was unable to stack his regular-season stats due to testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of Week 18. We hope this young gun is healthy and ready to go for Sunday!

. . DE. Nick Bosa. . player. 42.

In the lead-up to the 2019 NFL Draft, the brother of a budding defensive lineman was being hyped up, but there were concerns due to a core injury that required season-ending surgery. Well, it’s safe to say San Francisco is happy with drafting Nick Bosa with the second overall pick in that draft.

He is about as complete as they come for a defensive end. After a torn ACL cut his 2020 season short, Bosa finished the 2021 season with 15.5 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss of yards. The Ohio State product lives in the opposition’s backfield.

After only 35 games played in the NFL, Bosa is considered one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. After all, he accounts for 32 percent of his team’s sack total. That’s why teams focus on singling him out, but that allowed other defenders to step up.

It was a big deal that he hadn’t recorded a sack in back-to-back games. Bosa became frustrated, and media outlets were marking it as a catastrophe. That speaks volumes.

While he is not in the race for the Defensive Player of the Year award anymore, he is just outside the mark. You can still make an argument for him to receive his first career First-Team All-Pro nod, and that’s quite an achievement.