We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 11.
LB Micah Parsons
Born: 26th May 1999 (24) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
College: Penn State Nittany Lions
Draft: 2021, Round 1, Pick 12, Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys LB Micah Parsons wins NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year pic.twitter.com/yBu6hTJHfK— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) February 11, 2022
2022 Total Stats:
Tackle for Loss: 16
Defensive Stops: 42
Forced Fumbles: 3
Fumble Recoveries: 3
Micah Parsons committed to Penn State in 2018 after playing defensive end in high school. As a freshman, Parsons was moved immediately to play Mike linebacker and played all 13 games for Penn State. He became the first Nittany Lion to ever lead the team in tackles as a freshman, with 82 total tackles. He also ended his freshman season with two forced fumbles, four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
In 2019, he started 12 out of 13 games at middle linebacker. He made 109 tackles with 14 for loss, five sacks and four forced fumbles. Parsons went on to be named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year, and was given All-American honors. The following season, Parsons opted out of playing due to Covid restrictions and would declare for the NFL Draft in 2021.
Is Micah Parsons the best defender in the game? pic.twitter.com/cqSWwkcdS9— PFF (@PFF) August 22, 2023
Ok, so if you’re living under a rock you won’t know who this guy is. For everyone else this one is simple. Parsons has been the driving force for a Dallas defense that has transformed from being good to being one of the best in the league. Ever since Parsons stepped onto Cowboys ground he’s used his elite levels of burst and speed to be a complete nuisance to opposing offensive linemen and quarterbacks. Every offensive coordinator has one main focus when they have to face the Cowboys, slow down Micah Parsons. During his rookie year, he made 12 sacks in 13 games, that’s the fourth-most by a rookie in NFL history. He was voted into the Pro Bowl, named first-team All-Pro and was Defensive Rookie of the Year.
In 2022 everyone wanted to know if Parsons really was the guy and not just a one-off. Quickly he helped everyone find out the answer - he’s more than just a fluke. Parsons was named All-Pro and went to another Pro Bowl, he was even in the race for Defensive Player of the Year. Parsons ended last season with 65 total tackles and 13.5 sacks.
Demarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons running a stunt to get home for what would be a sack pic.twitter.com/UWxDr7SS7J— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) August 1, 2023
2023 Roster Projections:
Parsons is starting for the Cowboys. He’s playing wherever the team needs him, and wherever he plays he’s being disruptive. At training camp, he is continuously getting to Dak Prescott and living in the offensive backfield. He’s showing that he’s not just Micah Parsons from last year, he’s even better. There is always discussion around snaps at defensive end and off-the-ball linebacker, but training camp was mostly defensive end. The only real question is just how high of a celling is there for Parsons.
2023 Projected Stats:
Tackle for Loss: 11
Defensive Stops: 36
The Big Question:
Does Micah Parsons win the DPOY award this year? Answer in the comments.