Cowboys' Parsons: 'I Put in a Good Fight' for 2023 NFL Defensive Player of the Year

Cowboys' Defensive Titan Parsons Achieves Remarkable Milestones.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Cowboys' Parsons: 'I Put in a Good Fight' for 2023 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
© Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

In a compelling statement of ambition and faith, Dallas Cowboys' two-time All-Pro edge rusher Micah Parsons set a high bar for his career. Speaking at the training camp on August 5, Parsons expressed his desire not just to be a Hall of Famer but to be remembered as one of the greatest in the Hall of Fame.

"There are levels to greatness," Parsons said, "and I aim for perfection." Parsons' aspirations place him in the footsteps of Lawrence Taylor, the New York Giants' legendary linebacker, often hailed as the greatest defensive player in NFL history.

Taylor's illustrious career, marked by eight First-Team All-Pro selections, three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and two Super Bowl championships, sets a lofty benchmark that Parsons is eager to meet.

Parsons' Rising Stardom

Now in his third season, Parsons continues to make significant strides, earning his third Pro Bowl selection and likely another First-Team All-Pro nod.

Anchoring Dallas' robust defense, which averages a mere 19.1 points per game against, Parsons has shown himself to be a force to be reckoned with. His stellar performance is further highlighted by the company he keeps, with teammates Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Zack Martin, DaRon Bland, Brandon Aubrey, and Bryan Anger also receiving Pro Bowl honors.

However, the true testament to Parsons' Hall of Fame journey would be securing the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. His 2023 stats are impressive, leading the NFL in quarterback pressures (102), pressure rate (22.4%), and pass rush win rate (37.6%).

These numbers place Parsons in an elite category, alongside players like JJ Watt, Aaron Donald, and Maxx Crosby, who have similarly eclipsed the 100 quarterback pressures mark in a single season since 2006. Despite these remarkable achievements, Parsons remains cautiously optimistic about his chances for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Acknowledging the talent of peers like Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt, and Maxx Crosby, he understands the challenges and nuances of the selection process. Betting odds from FanDuel Sportsbook reflect this tight competition, with Garrett leading, followed by Parsons, Watt, and Crosby.

Parsons' 13 sacks this season, just half a sack shy of his career-high, demonstrate his relentless pursuit of excellence. This drive is further underscored by his league-leading pass-rush win rate and the high rate of double teams he faces.

However, a lack of holding calls against opponents when facing Parsons suggests an area for improvement, either in officiating or in his ability to exploit single coverage. As Parsons navigates through double teams and strategizes to overcome his opponents, his path to greatness and a potential Hall of Fame career becomes ever clearer.

His determination, coupled with exceptional skill, places him firmly on the radar for future accolades and cements his status as one of the NFL's most formidable defensive talents.