Nikon D5 has a 21.0MP Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features Expeed 5 processor. On the other hand, Sony A9 has a 24.0MP Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm ) sized BSI-CMOS sensor and features BIONZ X processor.
Another difference between these two cameras is that Sony A9's sensor lacks anti-alias (Low-Pass) filter. Removing anti-alias filter increases the sharpness and level of detail but at the same time, it increases the chance of moire occurring in certain scenes.
Below you can see the D5 and A9 sensor size comparison.
Nikon D5 and Sony A9 have almost the same sensor size so none of them has any significant advantage over other in providing control over depth of field when used with same focal length and aperture.