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Micah Parsons sends message to 49ers offense ahead of playoff game

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As the Cowboys gear up for their wildcard clash against the 49ers, their much-vaunted defense will need to step up for what should be a physical clash with the San Francisco offensive line. Count a key Cowboy who doesn’t mind the challenge: star rookie linebacker Micah Parsons.

Asked about San Francisco’s so-called “bally ball” style, Parsons said such a tactic would overwhelm the Cowboys, who would enter the playoff winners in five of their last six games.

“I’m from Harrisburg, where bullies get bullied,” Parsons said, by Michael Gehlken from The morning news from Dallas. “There is a bully in every gym.… At some point, it will take someone to stand up and fight. I never back down from a challenge.”

The 49ers have won seven of their last nine games before the playoffs, averaging 158 rushing yards and 4.5 yards per carry over those wins. The Cowboys are 16th in the league this year in rushing yards allowed per game (111.3) and seventh in points allowed (21.1).

Parsons, the 12th overall pick in the 2021 draft, is the clear favorite to win this year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. In 16 games, the 22-year-old has recorded 84 tackles, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles, as well as 20 tackles for a loss.

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