Skip to main content

Micah Parsons as MVP? Is Dallas Cowboys Star Best Player in NFL?

It's very, very, very early, but Parsons' MVP-level impact on the non-Prescott Cowboys can't be denied.

Modern football has opted to stack Paul "Bear" Bryant's insistence that "defense wins championships" alongside some of the other innovations of his era ... such as unpadded goalposts in the middle of the end zone and suits on the sidelines.

While the occasional high-profile defensive performance is still appreciated, there's no secret that the NFL has pledged its loyalties to a deity known as fantasy football, a devotion that has only intensified upon the embracing of legalized gambling. Modern rule changes and an influx of defensive penalties have only added to the offensive heyday, one where losing teams are capable of putting up scores and yardage that would make squads from the late Arena Football League blush. 

But everything's bigger in Texas and that goes double for defensive performances: Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons added to his already massive legacy, perhaps rivaling the Cincinnati Bengals' backup running backs for time spent in the striped backfield. With Dallas' back against the wall after a literally painful Week 1 outing, his two sacks and five additional hits on lauded Bengals passer Joe Burrow provided a vital difference in what became a 20-17 victory on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium. 

Said Dallas coach Mike McCarthy: "He wreaks havoc. ... He is the definition of 'elite.'''

Championships are far from won in September and the same goes for individual awards like the coveted Most Valuable Player title. Having said that ... perhaps no one has put the "V" in MVP better than Parsons in the infantile stages of what has already been a thrilling NFL season. 

With so many of the modern NFL's ebbs and flows stemming from the arm of the franchise quarterback, having a solid pass rush is more vital than ever. Parsons has already left his mark on this season through vital defensive showings that have yielded only a single touchdown per game in the first two. While Dallas mustered six sacks on Burrow on Sunday (perhaps more indicative of the Bengals' continued offensive line woes rather than a true statement on the Dallas pass rush), Parsons has mostly operated as a one-man show. Dorance Armstrong (the leading non-Parsons returning sacker with five last season) is his only other teammate with multiple quarterback takedowns. 

It wasn't Parsons' fault that the Cowboys fell by a 19-3 final to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers group still not two years removed from a Lombardi Trophy hoist. In perhaps a feeling that Prescott is all too familiar with, that two-possession loss, one that yielded only a single touchdown to a Tom Brady-led offense, was only so close because of a singular, gargantuan effort that got lost amidst other shenanigans.

These two weeks have been quite a year for the Cowboys. Parsons has been the anchor keeping the team relatively grounded since someone decided to open the football equivalent of Pandora's Box in Arlington. 

Opponents and teammates alike are already starting to notice the impact he's had on the games.

Scroll to Continue

No image description

cooper dak clutch
Play

Dak Prescott Starting at Rams? Cowboys Reveal What Injured QB Must Do

Injured Dak Prescott will soon join the Dallas Cowboys mix. But not until he crosses The Threshold.

broncos gregory
Play

Cowboys Ex Randy Gregory OUT for Broncos With Knee Surgery

Updated by the minute, our Cowboys NFL Moves, Free Agency and Trade Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort

Snip20221003_108
Play

Cowboys Trending: A Rarity for Ezekiel Elliott and Running Game in Win Over Washington

The Dallas Cowboys made the most out of a meager rushing attack, defying a fleeting but often fatal curse.

"Micah Parsons is going to be in the conversation for one of the best, if not the best, pass rushers,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. “Just the way they can move him around, the way he can take advantage and bend. He’s a real problem.”

“He’s just being deliberate in his job,” Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said. “Micah is a great pass-rusher, being able to get off the ball. Taking advantage of his opportunities is all we ask for. So Micah, keep going! Don’t stop!”

With the double-edged sword that is Dak Prescott's injury ... increasing Parsons' MVP chances but weakening the Cowboys as a whole ... keeping him out of Dallas' immediate future, including Monday's tilt against the New York Giants (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN), Parsons may not have a choice. 

True to his contending form, however, Parsons wouldn't have it any other way, embracing the burden of the Cowboys' present and future fortunes, even if it's extracting a physical toll. 

Frankly, the one thing that might be standing in Parsons' way to the MVP award ... other than the teensy tiny detail that there are 16 more weeks left in the regular season alone ... is the anything but recent bias toward the offense. Even before teams were lighting up scoreboards like pinball machines, the last defender to break through the offensive ceiling was Lawrence Taylor in 1986. Heck, the last non-Parsons prey ... in other words, someone other than a quarterback ... to nab it was Adrian Peterson back in 2012. 

Defense, in some cases, still wins championships. For now, it's winning the Cowboys games. From an NFL standard (nearly two-thirds of their games scheduled beyond the standard 12 p.m. CT slot), there's probably nothing more "V" than that. 

Follow Geoff Magliocchetti on Twitter 

Follow Cowboys / Fish on Facebook

Subscribe to the Cowboys Fish Report on YouTube for constant daily Cowboys live-stream podcasts and reports!