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'Elite on D?’ Cowboys Micah Parsons Knows His Goals

Parsons knows with hard work he can make the jump from a great player to an elite player.
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FRISCO - Dallas Cowboys' second-year linebacker Micah Parsons had one of the most prolific rookie seasons in recent memory. In 16 games in 2021, Parsons collected 13 sacks, 84 tackles (64 solo), defended three passes, and forced three fumbles.

The performance earned the former first-round draft pick a first-team All-Pro selection, Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, and placed him in the discussion for Defensive Player of the Year for most of the season. 

Despite his rookie success and already being named in the same breath as some of the greats of the game, Parsons knows he can be better.

His coach Mike McCarthy has commented how happy he is with Parsons' performance and work ethic, but at the same time reminded Parsons he needs to work even harder to become an elite player.

“Obviously Micah had a lot of great moments last year, but our desire—and it needs to be his desire—is for him to be an elite player, not just a great player,” McCarthy said.

Parsons reacted exactly the way a player who desperately wants to improve would react, as he told Bleacher Report.

“My reaction to [McCarthy’s criticism] is that’s the expectation, so there’s nothing to get excited about,” Parsons said. “I want my coach to believe that I would take that type of jump. It’s going to take me focusing on my body and focusing on my mental.”

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

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.”

Considering his rookie campaign and the things he accomplished in just one season, nothing seems impossible for Parsons entering his second year with the Cowboys.


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