Dallas Cowboys‘ rookie linebacker Micah Parsons is having a monster season, especially for the month of November. He has already won Defensive Rookie of the Month and most say his bid for Defensive Rookie of the Year is all but solidified. Is it crazy to say that his rookie season has been so dominant that he can even start a new bid for NFL Defensive Player of the Year?
That might sound like a stretch at first. But his stats may convince you otherwise.
So far this season, Parsons has 72 tackles (16 for loss), two forced fumbles, and ten sacks. He has more sacks than any other Cowboys rookie since 1982 – the year sacks were added to the box score.
His exceptional month of November (leading the league in both sacks and tackles for loss) wound up putting him in some pretty impressive company. Dallas’ standout rookie is only the fifth player (of any age) since 1999 to record more than six sacks and at least eight tackles for loss in November.
The others: Julius Peppers, Von Miller, Aldon Smith, and J.J. Watt. Now that’s a Thanksgiving table you want to sit at.
Cowboys’ Micah Parsons stats put him in company with Julius Peppers, Von Miller, Aldon Smith, and J.J. Watt.
So, how did those years end up for those players? Can we expect Parsons to break even more records? Let’s see how he compares to these defensive giants.
Julius Peppers ended his 2008 season with 14.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and 51 total tackles. Parsons is already ahead of Peppers here with 67 total tackles heading into Week 13.
For Von Miller, his huge stat at the end of 2012 was having 28 tackles for loss. Not sure if Parsons can get there, but he has already surpassed Miller’s total of 68 tackles in just 13 games.
Aldon Smith ended 2012 with an impressive 19.5 sacks – a great goal for Parsons, who is sitting at TK, and has no business hitting quarterbacks at the same rate as one of the best defensive ends of this era. He’s in the ballpark, though. Which is wild.
Lastly, in 2015, J.J. Watt had the most tackles for loss out of these four with 29. He may not beat Watt there, but breaking Watt’s 76 total tackles on the seasons seems incredibly doable.
Of all four players mentioned in the tweet, only J.J. Watt won Defensive Player of the Year during the correlating season to his impressive November showing. Is Micah Parsons ready to be number two?
Not only are analysts around the league backing the rookie linebacker, but other NFL players are noticing his impact, too. After Parsons’ dominating performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes told Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com that he thinks Parsons is a special player. Mahomes continued to say:
"“I mean, to be that good of a linebacker and be able to play defensive end, there’s not a lot of guys like that in this league. He has a high motor. He chased me down on that sack, the strip-sack, and the whole game he was in there the whole time battling and battling.”"
The sky is the limit for this rookie linebacker. If he continues on the path he is going, he may end up with more than one award in his trophy case this offseason.
He stepped up in the absence of DeMarcus Lawrence, and hopefully, the two of them will do even more damage together as the season continues.