SANTA CLARA — Micah Parsons finished second last season behind Nick Bosa for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
This year, Parsons is considered the odds-on betting favorite for the honor.
Parsons creates the biggest challenge for the 49ers on Sunday night when the Dallas Cowboys come to Levi's Stadium for a high-profile matchup of two of the top teams in the league.
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Bosa will be on the sideline when Parsons is on the field, but he knows plenty about the Cowboys’ best player from studying video of him.
“He’s very comfortable all over the line,” Bosa said of Parsons, who has four sacks in the first four games of the 2023 NFL season.
“Obviously, (he’s) gifted athletically more so than anybody I’d say — him and maybe Myles Garrett. But just acceleration. Plays he shouldn’t make, he makes. And (he plays with) good effort.”
Parsons registered nine quarterback pressures in Week 4 against the New England Patriots, per Zebra Technology’s on-field tracking.
San Francisco 49ers
It was Parsons’ eighth consecutive game with at least five pressures. He leads the NFL in nearly every pass rush metric, including pressures (29) and pressure rate (27.4%).
Veteran cornerback Anthony Brown, who started 69 of the 94 regular-season games in which he appeared with the Cowboys over seven seasons, now in his third week on the 49ers’ practice squad.
Brown experienced the luxury of playing on a defense that featured Parsons. A first-round draft pick in 2021, Parsons has 30 sacks in 37 career regular-season games.
“He’s basically like a Nick Bosa here,” Brown said. “He gets it going up front and makes the ball come out quicker for the DBs on the back end.”