"I respect it," Thomas said. "Coming from him, he's one of the best in the league. So coming from him, that's good.
"I think I done faced more physical," Thomas added. "But he is physical. He switch it up, he don't always try to be physical because he don't have to. He switch up stuff, that's why I feel he's one of the best at what he does."
This is shaping up as the most anticipated matchup of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Sherman ranked first among all NFL cornerbacks in opposing passer rating this season. He knocks down and intercepts as many passes as any player in the league even though quarterbacks rarely throw in his direction.
On the flip side, no wide receiver has generated a higher rating for his quarterback than Peyton Manning's near 125.0 on throws to Thomas the past two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.
"Demaryius is a very gifted athlete. Height, weight and speed ... very, very gifted. No doubt," coach John Fox said Monday. "One of the better athletes I've been blessed to be around. He's definitely improved, become a much more polished receiver over the last couple years for sure. He gets all the credit for that."
Thomas is one of the rare receivers capable of taking the top off a defense vertically, making tough catches in traffic and going the distance on shorter routes such as bubble screens and slants.
Both players have been correct in their evaluations this week. Thomas is one of the handful of best receivers in the league. No cornerback has played at a higher level than Sherman the past two seasons.
Get your popcorn ready for Sunday.