Micah Parsons has been making an impact ever since he first stepped on the field for the Dallas Cowboys. He’s killed all the pre-draft notions that he was just a one-trick pony and has become one of the best defenders in the NFL even as a rookie.
That continued against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving. Although the Cowboys’ defense struggled as a whole by giving up 509 yards and 36 points in an overtime loss, Parsons once again made a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year. He finished with five tackles (two tackles for loss), a sack, 10 pressures, five hurries, and five quarterback hits. That gives Parsons nine sacks on the season which breaks the Cowboys rookie record in that category set by future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware in 2005.
— NFL (@NFL) November 26, 2021
The 12th overall pick could have had an even bigger game if not for terrible officiating. Several times Parsons was held coming off the edge rushing the passer. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the referees lost their ability to see and swallowed their whistles.
Parsons’s performance against the Raiders was a continuation of a dominant five-game stretch for the rookie despite the Cowboys posting a 2-3 record. He’s registered 36 tackles (12 tackles for loss), 6.5 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles over that span.
Over the last month, Parsons has gotten into quite a groove rushing the passer. He’s recorded a sack in four consecutive games. However, Parsons won’t be the sole threat for the Cowboys’ defense rushing off the edge in the weeks to come.
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who hasn’t played since Week 1 due to a broken bone in his foot, is set to return next week against the New Orleans Saints. Randy Gregory is eligible to return to practice from his calf injury next week as well, and the Cowboys will do their due diligence on his availability.
Parsons’s role in rushing off the edge may take a step back when Lawrence and Gregory return. However, if the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is smart he’ll find a way to utilize all three especially on third down in passing situations.
Earlier in the week, Parsons was pumped about getting Lawrence and Gregory back on the field.
“I’m really excited,” Parsons said. “I keep telling them, u can have all those chip blocks back, you can have all that stuff. I don’t want it no more. When we’re all healthy and able to fully go, I feel bad for those quarterbacks.”
The Cowboys have six games left in the 2021 season. If they are to get where they want to go, Parsons will be a key reason why as the swiss army knife of the Cowboys’ defense.
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