It didn’t take Micah Parsons long to establish himself as one of the NFL’s top defensive players. After two seasons of elite play, Parsons has also quickly climbed the all-time sack leaderboard for the Dallas Cowboys. If he maintains the pace in 2023, Parsons will soon be among the legendary names in franchise history.
With 26.5 sacks already in his first two years, Parsons currently sits 13th on the list. He’s got reputable guys around him; Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff above at 27 sacks each and Tyrone Crawford below with 25. These are certainly names any real Cowboys fan remembers.
With another 10 sacks or more, though, Parsons moves into another level of franchise fame. He would vault past the like of Chad Hennings (27.5), Anthony Spencer (33), and even the great Charles Haley (34) for the eighth spot on Dallas’ all-time sack list.
It would easily be the fastest any player has ascended. Even DeMarcus Ware only had 33.5 sacks in his first three years. Parsons could easily have 36 and perhaps more if his third season goes at all like the last two.
At that point, here’s who Parsons would be looking up at:
- DeMarcus Ware - 117 sacks
- Jim Jeffcoat - 94.5
- Greg Ellis - 77
- Tony Tolbert - 59
- Ed “Too Tall” Jones - 57.5
- DeMarcus Lawrence - 54.5
- Randy White - 52
To be fair to Jones and White, and guys who came before them like Harvey Martin and Bob Lilly, the NFL didn’t start recording sacks until the 1982 season. While Ware would still be the leader with his Cowboys career total, some of these older legends would be much more prominent on the franchise and NFL leaderboards.
That disclaimer aside, you can clearly see how Parsons is quickly looming over them all. He’d have to crush the NFL’s single-season record of 22.5 sacks to even tie Randy White in 2023, so that’s pretty doubtful. But assuming Parsons remains a Cowboy for at least the next three years, if not many more to come, it won’t take him long to start dropping most of these names below his own.
This shouldn’t be surprising given all of the accolades that have come Parsons’ way since his NFL debut. But even with this historically hot start, it’s interesting to note how much work he’ll still have to put in to catch the likes of Ware, Jeffcoat, and even Ellis in those top-three slots.
While Ware is rightfully being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in just a few days, Jeffcoat and Ellis won’t join him. Nevertheless, these two great Cowboys established their own legacies with the franchise that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Micah Parsons is certainly on a path to eclipsing them but we’re still very early in the journey. A strong 2023 will move him considerably up the board, though, and put him in range to do even bigger things in the next few years. We know the young lion doesn’t need any extra motivation, but anything to make him hungrier certainly doesn’t hurt.