Micah Parsons didn’t waste any time putting his imprint on the NFL. Once looked at as just an off-the-ball linebacker, Parsons showed that his skill set was much more diverse than that thanks to the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Lining up at linebacker, defensive end, cornerback, and safety, Parsons became the swiss army knife of a Cowboys defense that led the NFL in turnovers (34) and was the best at getting off the field on third down.
Parsons racked up 84 tackles (20 tackles for loss), 13 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles, and three passes defended. He’s received a plethora of accolades due to his play. He was named a First-Team All-Pro, selected to the Pro Bowl, the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Year by the NFL’s 101 Awards, and the Rookie of the Year as well as the Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. At the NFL Honors on Thursday night, Parsons capped off his incredible rookie campaign by being named the first-ever unanimous winner of the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
— NFL (@NFL) February 11, 2022
Parsons solidified this honor during the final two o full months of the season. The former Penn State Nittany Lion amassed 10.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 18 quarterback hits over that span. During those eight games, Parsons registered a sack in seven of them, including a six-game stretch from Week 9 to Week 14.
Those are impressive numbers, but Parsons revealed something earlier this week that makes what he did truly incredible. In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, Parsons told her that he suffered a hyperextended knee during a training camp practice with the Los Angeles Rams that lingered all season.
“It was just something that kept lingering,” Parsons said. “When you hyperextend something it needs rest. But I was like, ‘I can’t take no rest.’”
The 12th overall pick isn’t satisfied with where his game is even after such a dominant showing as a rookie. He said on HBO’s Hard Knocks last summer that “The lion is always hungry” during practice. Recently, he echoed that statement by claiming that his play has another level to get to.
“Bro, I can get better everywhere,” Parsons said. “I can become a better pass-rusher. I can become a better linebacker. Like, anything. I just feel like I’m just out there raw and I was just learning and I grew and I kept getting better and better throughout the year. No one’s ever perfect. There’s always room to grow in many ways to get better.”
Parsons had an amazing season in 2021 and the fact that he was just a rookie and he was injured while doing so makes it even more special.
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