The hype for Micah Parsons is officially real. If you weren’t convinced by his immediate impact in the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, his subsequent performance against the Arizona Cardinals should’ve sealed the deal.
Parsons has a serious nose for the ball, as evidenced by his fumble recovery against Pittsburgh in the Hall of Fame Game. He flies around the field, shedding blockers and even working through double-teams to chase down opposing QBs.
It’s perhaps, for this reason, a Fox Sports fan poll on the NFL’s 2021 Defensive Rookie of the Year named Parsons as the preseason projected winner.
So often players come into the league surrounded by hype, only to underwhelm, but with Parsons, there seems to be serious potential for not just a day-one impact player, but bonafide stardom.
As Pro Football Focus pointed out, Parsons posted the highest rookie linebacker grade in the preseason since 2015. He also posted the second-best defensive rookie grade overall this season, second only to Indianapolis’s Kwity Paye.
Highest preseason grade by a rookie LB since 2015— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 24, 2021
1. Micah Parsons ('21) - 91.0 pic.twitter.com/gkuCoQbH29
People around the NFL have been noting how versatile Parsons is and how the Cowboys might have something special on their hands. PFF put together an All-Rookie team for the preseason and it should come as no surprise that Parsons took the top linebacker spot and is one of the bigger names of the group.
LB MICAH PARSONS, DALLAS COWBOYS
I called Parsons the best linebacker prospect we’ve seen since we started grading college in 2014. Well, he just finished the preseason with the highest PFF grade PFF has ever given to a linebacker, too. He earned a 91.0 overall grade on 43 snaps for the Cowboys and did a little bit of everything. He already looks special.
Nobody doubted Parsons’ ability as a linebacker during the draft, it was just that a cornerback made more sense for the Cowboys at the time and for the draft position that they were in. Thankfully Parsons has played well enough so far to make all of that feel somewhat insignificant.
Brian Baldinger took things a step further, projecting Parsons to be the “centerpiece of this Cowboys defense.” He’s not just looking to the future, he’s proclaiming Parsons to be the focal point of the Dallas defense in 2021.
The Cowboys might have been one of the worst defenses in 2020 but for a rookie to step in, and at one of the most physically, mentally difficult positions in which to make the jump from college to the pros no less, and become your best player is otherworldly.
Parsons has also shined in ‘Hard Knocks,’ flashing loads of personality, quotable lines, and drawing rave reviews from teammates. Best of all, he never appears to be scared of the challenge ahead.
Rookie LB Micah Parsons is not overwhelmed by everything the Cowboys are putting on his plate: “I got 24 hours in a day, I think I have plenty of time to do what I’m paid to do.” pic.twitter.com/GelFPMzQ3B— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 2, 2021
Parsons’ flexibility as a hybrid-style linebacker who can line up at multiple positions and chase down receivers or running backs while still having the physicality to exert dominance against offensive linemen is a rare, invaluable ability.
The next time that we see Parsons will be during the season opener when he will be tasked with stopping the world champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady. It appears that the Cowboys are more ready for this kind of challenge than they have been in some time, but now is the time for them to live up to that challenge.
That’s what Micah Parsons was brought here to help them do.