People love to compare sports greats to other sports greats. Is Lebron James better than Michael Jordan? Is Connor McDavid the next Wayne Gretzky? So on and so forth. While some hesitate to compare generational players like this, there has been a consistent correlation between two great defenders in the NFL lately. Is Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons the latest iteration of the great Lawrence Taylor?
Some think the comparison is a bit too premature. After Monday night’s game against the Giants, Taylor himself said that while he’s impressed by Parsons, he’d like to “see if he can keep it up for dag-on 13 years.”
The 23-year-old Cowboy only has a season and three games compared to 13 dominating years, but that isn’t stopping people from noticing the similarities in the aggressiveness, speed, agility, and versatility between the two.
After watching him play on Monday night, the Hall of Famer took to Twitter to let people know he thinks the Penn State product truly is special.
Ahead of another divisional rivalry game against the Washington Commanders this weekend, another football great from the 1980s is buying into the comparison. Longtime Washington quarterback Joe Theismann went on 105.3 The Fan on Thursday morning to talk about the upcoming Week 4 and game and took a good chunk of time to express his awe of Parsons.
Commanders great Joe Theismann says Cowboys LB Micah Parsons “is the closest thing we have seen to Lawrence Taylor” in a long time
A Pro Bowl quarterback, Theismann was obviously asked about Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz, but he seemed to have more enthusiasm when talking about the Cowboys’ second-year linebacker than any other topic in his 20-minute interview. Here are the former MVP’s thoughts on Parsons:
"“As Washington gets ready for this game, they better alert their running backs, tight ends, and everybody because pressure is coming. The floodgates are going to be open.And I said this on a radio show last week, Micah Parsons to me is the closest thing we have seen to Lawrence Taylor in this league in a long, long time. His athleticism. His quickness at that size. His speed. When he gets a shot at somebody he doesn’t miss them. If he’s coming, he’s either going through you or around you, or under you. I’ve been so impressed with his ability to play the game. The unique thing about Lawrence was his ability to be able to dissect an angle when he ran people down. His ability to make people miss when he tried to block them. And then that last-minute acceleration when he gets close to where a tackle is.And like I said, I’m not saying he is Lawrence, because I’m not one of those people that says ‘this guy’s the next Michael Jordan.’ No. There’s only one Michael Jordan. There’s only one Lawrence Taylor. Those are generational people. But I think Micah Parsons is as close to anybody if you want to compare him to someone in the history of the game, to Lawrence Taylor.”"
It doesn’t really get much more clear than that. Those are quite nice words from a man who faced Taylor in his playing days.
What stands out about Theismann’s interview is something that many get frustrated about when it comes to the Parsons/Taylor juxtaposition. The former QB said that there will not be another Taylor. This isn’t about the 23-year-old replacing him. It’s about clearly seeing that the two have a very similar, dominant play style. They can both be generational players without crossing the other one out of the history books.
The Cowboys’ LB clearly wants to be an elite athlete. He’s shared with the press multiple times that he studies the careers and quotes of sports legends like Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan. He even tweeted out a GIF of Jordan’s “flu game” before the Giant’s matchup after he missed practices with illness all week. He looked perfectly fine when the game started.
Even though Parsons didn’t get a sack registered, he was pretty unstoppable and problematic for the Giants all night.
It may be too early to assume his place in the history books at this point, but there’s no denying that Parsons is something special. We can’t wait to see what he does against a struggling Commanders offensive line and quarterback on Sunday.