There’s no doubt that the 49ers and Cowboys boast two of the best young defenders in the league in the forms of Nick Bosa and Micah Parsons. Both were monster pass-rushers, as Bosa put up 15.5 sacks in 2021 and Parsons totaled 13 sacks.
During the May 18 episode of Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed, Bayless made his case that Parsons is the better player for a team to have. Bayless and cohost Shannon Sharpe were responding to a Pro Football Focus list that ranked Bosa as the No. 1 NFL player under 25 and Parsons as the No. 6 player and second-best defender.
The two can certainly be compared by stats, but Bayless thinks there’s an argument beyond the numbers.
“I would take [Parsons] any day or night long-term over Nick Bosa because I think he only scratched the surface,” Bayless said. “This is the tip of his iceberg, and it’s going to be a glacier-sized iceberg of a career because… he’s far closer to Lawrence Taylor than Nick Bosa is.”
As readers might expect, 49ers fans did not appreciate Bayless claiming Parsons is better than Bosa.
49ers Fans Weigh In on Bayless
The Cowboys and 49ers have a historic rivalry that added another chapter this past January when San Francisco defeated Dallas 23-17 in the Wild Card round of the NFC Playoffs. That game is fresh in the minds of both fanbases, evidenced by many of the Twitter replies to Bayless’ Tweet.
“Ummmmm did you see what happen to him in the playoffs against the Niners?” @FernKnowz replied. “Kittle was throwing him around. Lmao and Deebo!! that would never happen to Bosa. Lmao”
Other 49ers fans elected to use memes to get their point across, such as @NinersCole.
@RichardBianco3 brought up side-by-side numbers and rookie stats as his claim that Bosa is better than Parsons.
“See take all the pressures and sacks and put them to the side because both are good at doing that but Bosa was much better in his rookie season than Parson’s. And now let’s talk about franchise changing defense changing player that’s where Bosa tops Parson’s period,” the 49ers fan wrote.
As for rookie seasons, Parsons put up four more sacks his rookie season than Bosa did in 2019 (9.0,) hit the QB more times (30 to 25) and forced more fumbles (3). This is not to mention Parsons’ higher tackle total, but that is stilted due to his snaps at linebacker.
As for “franchise changing” player, Parsons finished second for Defensive Player of the Year in his rookie season. In terms of what the Cowboys star can control, he’s completely flipped the threat of Dallas’ defense.
Bosa can absolutely boast the better overall season in 2021, but Parsons takes the edge in terms of rookie impact. Obviously, they’re both “franchise-changing” players.
Cowboys Fans Defend Parsons
While 49ers fans backed up Bosa, Cowboys fans stood in Parsons’ corner. Many vouched for Parsons’ athleticism and flexibility, such as @Anthony032011.
“One year but Micah Is something else he’s different rusher the passer cover WR and tackle RB if I had to choose I’ll take Parsons,” the user wrote.
Another user echoed the same sentiment, while also highlighting that Parsons has two years on Bosa in terms of age at 22.
“Micah is better than Bosa. He rushes the passer better and plays coverage better, and on top of all that he’s younger and only going to get better,” @RexRyanBurnerNY Tweeted.
Even a random Atlanta Falcons fan took the side of Parsons, asking why Bayless was being called out for the take.