Only officially 10 games into his rookie season, Micah Parsons is already proving to be one of the more versatile and dominant defensive players in the entire league. His first year in the NFL is going so well, in fact, it’s looking as if it could rival some of the greatest rookie seasons in the history of the league.
The Cowboys' Micah Parsons is the 1st player with 60 tackles and 8.0 sacks in his team’s first 10 games of a season since Terrell Suggs in 2013.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 21, 2021
He’s also the 1st player with 60 tackles and 8.0 sacks in his first 10 career games since 2000. pic.twitter.com/lvqmfIYBvF
Micah Parsons has 2.0 sacks today and is now the 2nd rookie in the last 20 seasons with 8+ sacks and 40+ tackles in his first 10 career games— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 22, 2021
The other guy: 2011 Defensive Rookie of the Year Von Miller#CowboysNation
Terrell Suggs and Von Miller, that’s some pretty good company Micah Parsons currently finds himself in a little over halfway through the 2021 season. Considering Parsons has accomplished this playing both linebacker and defensive end this year, instead of one position like Suggs and Miller, it’s even more impressive.
To date, Micah Parsons has accumulated eight quarterback sacks, 18 QB hits, two forced fumbles, 13 tackles for a loss, and a total of 62 tackles. Whether you prefer to classify him as a LB or DE, the numbers he’s already put up this year would rival just about anybody’s rookie season and there’s still a lot of football to play for those stats to improve.
Based on Parsons’ current production, and projecting what his stats could look like at the season’s end, it’s looking as if he’s going to have one of the best rookie campaigns in the history of the league. That means he could surpass players like Dick Butkus and Lawrence Taylor, who are two of the players who set the standard by which rookie seasons are measured.
As an inside linebacker Dick Butkus was one of the most intimidating and fearsome players to ever play the position. As a rookie in 1965, he intercepted five passes while recording seven fumble recoveries in 14 games earning All-Pro honors. Parsons may not be as intimidating or fearsome as Butkus, but the impact he’s made playing LB with the Cowboys is on par with the Hall of Famer’s.
When it comes to rookie pass rusher’s, none did it better than Lawrence Taylor and Jevon Kearse. Both players were highly productive in their first year in the league, and yet, Micah Parsons has a chance to surpass them both if he continues to dominate on the field like he has been so far this year.
Lawrence Taylor, arguably the best pass rusher of all time, unofficially recorded 9.5 QB sacks (the NFL didn’t officially track individual sacks until 1982) in 1981. He also won both NFL Defensive Player and Rookie of the Year honors and his first year in the league.
Jevon Kearse, “The Freak”, was even better as a rookie pass rusher, accumulating 14.5 QB sacks and eight forced fumbles with the Tennessee Titans in 1999. Surprisingly enough, his rookie season was also the most productive of his 11-year career.
As you can see, Micah Parsons is among elite company as far as rookie seasons are concerned right now. It doesn’t matter if you want to classify him as a linebacker or defensive end, he is among the best of the best at both positions and has the numbers to back it up. The only question is, where will he rank when all is said and done?