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Cowboys, Strahan & Watt: Can Micah Parsons Break NFL Sack Record?

The current record for most sacks in a single season is 22.5, which is shared by former New York Giants star Michael Strahan and last season’s defensive player of the year T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

FRISCO - It is on our "To-Do List'' for the start of training camp when we roll into Oxnard: "Hey, Micah Parsons, can you name three things you think you can't do?''

The Dallas Cowboys linebacker Parsons had a memorable rookie season ... and he's had a memorable offseason, with a variety of colorful quotes, fun-loving (and blinged-up) appearances and ... well, playful boasts.

The 23-year-old Penn State product was selected by the Cowboys in the first round (12th overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was named a first team All-Pro by the Associated Press, earned a Pro Bowl nod and was chosen as the Defensive Rookie of the Year by both the AP and the Pro Football Writers of America.

Heading into 2022, Parsons is setting his sights even higher.

Following his 13-sack performance last season, Dallas’ new defensive star is not just seeking improvement. He is apparently eyeing an eclipse of the single season mark.

In a recent interview with CBS Sports, Parsons expressed his expectations for both a floor and ceiling when it comes to his statistical pursuit of opposing quarterbacks.

“15 is the minimum. 15 is what I wanna hit,” Parsons said. “But definitely 23 is that goal, to break the record.”

The current record for most sacks in a single season is 22.5, which is shared by former New York Giants star Michael Strahan and last season’s defensive player of the year T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers. While aiming for the single-season record may be a lofty goal, a 15-sack minimum seems to be well within his capabilities.

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Ironically, Parsons found himself in position to become such a fearsome pass rusher at the pro level due to a bad break — both figuratively and literally. After Cowboys’ defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence broke his foot in practice prior to Week 2, Parsons converted back to the position, which he had played in high school. In Week 8, Parsons had 11 tackles [including four for loss] in a 20-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. From Week 9 to Week 14, Parsons recorded at least one sack in six straight games. His 12 sacks in his first 13 career games are the fourth-most by a rookie in NFL history behind only Julius Peppers (13), Reggie White (13) and Leslie O'Neal (12.5). Parsons finished his rookie campaign with 84 total tackles, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles in 16 games played.

Realistically, Parsons - who is also "playfully boasting'' about beating Trevon Diggs and leading the team in interceptions despite the fact that he's never recorded even one in college or the pros - would probably have to become a full-time defensive end to total a league-leading sack total ... and that isn't coordinator Dan Quinn's plan.

But the challenge, it seems, is the thing.

"I never back down from a challenge,'' Parsons said. “The great ones just find a way.”

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