Micah Parsons knows a lot of people don’t give his Dallas Cowboys a chance against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but he’s using that as motivation for their divisional round clash.
The 49ers have won 11 straight games and have big names like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Trent Williams and Nick Bosa – just to name a few. However, Parsons likes the Cowboys’ chances of ending the commotion at Levi’s Stadium.
“We hear what everyone says,” Parsons said Thursday. “We hear it, ‘No way the Cowboys are going to win, no way.’ Honestly, I think you should go for it. You should love that stuff. When no one believes in you, that’s the best feeling; Not when everyone believes in you and the Kool-Aid is on and everyone’s smiling like, ‘You can’t lose. You’re too good.’ I don’t want that feeling because then it’s like, ‘Damn, what if I don’t win?’ When you are at the bottom, the only way to go is up. I really like being the underdog.”
Parsons was a beast in the Cowboys’ 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild card round, making life miserable for Tom Brady. He had defended three tackles, eight pressings, a sack and two passes.
There’s a revenge story of sorts built into the matchup, as the 49ers ended the Cowboys’ season in the wild card a season ago.
“I’m super excited,” Parsons said. “This is (the opponent) I wanted. If that’s the three-headed dragon, we’ll have to cut off one of the heads.”
Parsons confirmed the guns available to the 49ers and the recent run they’ve had. But the Cowboys — who finished the regular season 12-5 — weren’t that bad themselves, so Parsons doesn’t plan to change things now.
“I don’t want to go out there and try to beat the 49ers,” Parsons said. “They will smack my ass if I play their game. i will play my game I will contribute my strengths and what I bring with me. They will bring their strengths to bear. Let’s just fight it out.
Parsons has been great this season and was once the unaffordable favorite for Defensive Player of the Year. Nick Bosa — who led the NFL with 18.5 sacks — made up some and is now the favorite for the honors, though Parsons was a first-team All-Pro and amassed 65 tackles and 13.5 sacks.
And the sophomore star is ready to level up under the postseason lights.
“The bigger the stage, the bigger the player,” Parsons said. “To the right?”
Parsons’ contributions go beyond what he lists in the boxed score. Insults value making it less effective, which in turn can result in others getting an opportunity to make plays. The Cowboys led the league in forced turnovers this season and fired opposing QBs 54 times as a unit.
“I have no doubt that he won’t be coming back this week with a bigger chip on his shoulder because of what happened last year and how (losing to the 49ers in the wildcard round) ended it for us ‘ Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse said of Parsons. “I kept repeating all week and throughout the game that he’s driving this thing.”
The 49ers are a 3.5-point favorite for the matchup.