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Defensive Player of the Year finalists named for 2023

The DPOY finalists are all in the top ten in sacks.

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers sacks Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks during the game at Lumen Field on December 15, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The NFL and the Associated Press announced finalists for the major awards that will be handed out Thursday, February 9 at the NFL Honors program, and Defensive Player of the Year is a stacked group. Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, and Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones are the three finalists for this award.

Defensive Player of the Year finalists

LB Micah Parsons, Cowboys

Parsons finished seventh in the NFL with 13.5 sacks and had three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries with one for a touchdown. He had plenty of work rushing the passer, but he is the latest in the recent development of true do-anything linebacker who can rush the passer, handle the run, and drop into coverage.

DE Nick Bosa, 49ers

Bosa led the NFL with 18.5 sacks and was arguably the most important piece of the 49ers No. 2-ranked defense. It was a deep defense, but Bosa made his case for being the most disruptive player on arguably the most disruptive defense. 49ers fans will point in particular to the numerous holding penalties never called as proof he could have easily gone over 20 sacks.

DT Chris Jones, Chiefs

Nine of the top ten players on the sacks leaderboard are either linebackers or defensive ends. The exception is Jones, who was tied for fourth with 15.5 sacks. When an interior lineman is that high up the sack leaderboard, you know he’s doing something special. Aaron Donald is the first guy you think of in that regard, but Jones is moving up the ladder.