Cowboys’ Micah Parsons wants to break NFL sack record, sets lofty minimum as 2022 goal

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Whether they want to admit it now or not, there was a time after the 2021 NFL Draft when some Dallas Cowboys fans were upset that the team chose to take Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons with the 12th overall pick. Little did they know that the Cowboys rookie would go on to be the first player ever to unanimously win Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Parsons had one of the most impressive rookie campaigns in NFL history, even earning himself comparisons to league legends like Lawrence Taylor. He took home several awards, including first-team All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl nod.

Parsons finished his first year in the NFL with 84 tackles, 30 QB hits, and 13.0 sacks. The Cowboy was chasing Jevon Kearse’s 1999 rookie record of most sacks by a rookie (14.5). The reality is that if COVID-19 hadn’t kept him out of the final game of the regular season against the Philadelphia Eagles, the linebacker likely would’ve achieved that feat.

Despite incredibly high expectations for his second year, Parsons knows he can continue to improve. The linebacker told Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports about his lofty goals for 2022. Not only has he set himself a “minimum” of 15 sacks, but he also fully plans on breaking the league’s single-season sack record of 22.5, a number that was initially reached by Michael Strahan in 2001.

Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons is eyeing the single-season sack record in 2022

The only person to come close to breaking Strahan’s record since 2001 is Pittsburgh Steelers OLB T.J. Watt. The Steeler tied Strahan’s 22.5 total last season which is a large part of the reason he beat out Parsons for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Even though some analysts and reporters asked Mike McCarthy if Parsons would be switching to defensive end thanks to his amazing pass rushing abilities, the Cowboys coach assured the press that the 23-year-old would remain a versatile linebacker. This type of Swiss Army knife player is incredibly unique but may make it hard for the Penn State product to achieve such high sack numbers.

That doesn’t seem to be a concern for Parsons, though. He is his own biggest competition and has always and will continue to set high expectations for himself in this league.

"“I just take the blessings that God gave me. I don’t feel like I need to reach anyone’s expectations but my own. If I can live with it, I can deal with it. I’m gonna just go out there and play my game. I don’t wanna go out there and chase no one’s story. I just gotta do my thing, and that’s what got me here, and that’s what I’m gonna keep doing.”"

When this young defender sets his mind to something, he gets it done. This is an incredibly lofty goal, but it’s certainly possible for a player this talented. And if Parsons can’t achieve this, he already has told DeMarcus Lawrence that despite what the longtime veteran thinks, he will be leading the team in sacks this year.

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