FRISCO -Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons has this season accomplished about as much as any NFL rookie, maybe about as much as any NFL player.
And maybe the secret to his success is … it’s not enough.
“The Super Bowl, playoffs, you got five games left. There’s stuff to be done,” he said after Thursday’s 27-17 win at New Orleans. “I don’t think it’s time for me to sit on my couch, smiling, eating Cheetos. I’m trying to do something way bigger than anybody thought we could do this year.”
Parsons, though, isn't just climbing the “rookie wall.” He's running through it. And around it. … sometimes in a way that is so elusive for blockers that his coach is comparing him to the most elusive Hall-of-Fame running back of all time.
Said Mike McCarthy, who due to COVID watched his team’s win while quarantined in a Frisco hotel room: “He’s almost like Barry Sanders when he is in there avoiding blocks. They can’t get their hands on him. He’s so slippery and natural. He has closing speed. He’s instinctive. … He’s as natural as a football player with exceptional physical gifts as I’ve been around.”
Parsons broke out in the month of November, recording 6.5 sacks in four games - tied for the second-most sacks in a single month in Cowboys history.
It’s that stellar November performance, including 12 quarterback hits, eight tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and 25 tackles that has earned Parsons NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month. ... and that we can argue put him in the conversation for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Our reasoning? He’s off to a December start that mirrors the rest of his season.
Against the Saints, he added another sack and had five pressures. That gives him 10 sacks in his first 12 games, placing him on a short list of men who’ve accomplished that.
John Elway, Peyton Manning or NFL's First Black Owner, Robert F. Smith? Tracker
Follow along with CowboysSI.com for all the hirings and firings of the offseason
Cowboys Get Good News on Deshaun Watson Trade: NFL Tracker
Updated by the minute, our Dallas Cowboys NFL Free Agency and Trade Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort
Amari Cooper Future? Cowboys Source Reveals Truth
“Gut feelings” and “guesses” are fine. But inside The Star?
Men like Reggie White, Derrick Thomas, Von Miller and Charles Haley.
While Parsons' play has been a pleasant surprise to some, the former Penn State star predicted a "scary" season under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn back in April when the Cowboys selected him No. 12 overall.
"I've been wanting to be a Cowboy," Parsons said. "I've been playing football off of raw potential and instincts. When I get under a person like (Dallas coordinator) Dan Quinn, I'm going to have a great opportunity to get even better and I think that's what's the scary part. I (haven't) even touched my ceiling yet."
The Cowboys rookie is the favorite (-700) to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year for 2021-22. Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II, who the Cowboys may have drafted if available at the No. 12 pick, is behind Parsons with the second best odds (-800).
If Micah Parsons keeps up his November pace into December, his frontrunner status as Defensive Rookie of the Year (and maybe more) will only solidify. There will be “time for Cheetos” later; his time to “be Barry Sanders” is now.
Follow Cowboys / Fish on Facebook