The rookie season of Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons was something just short of miraculous. Parsons wasn't just the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year, but in legitimate Defensive Player of the Year conversations all season as well. Steelers edge rusher TJ Watt won the AP Defensive Player of the Year award, but Parsons came second in voting and received more nominations than Aaron Donald.
The rookie phenom fell just 1.5 sacks shy of the rookie sack record with 13 sacks, despite not even being drafted anywhere along the defensive line. Additionally, Parsons boasted the highest pass rush grade in the league and forced three fumbles. Parsons displayed his pass-rushing versatility as well, harassing opposing quarterbacks from both the edge and as a linebacker.
Nonetheless, when ranking Parsons the top linebacker, CBS Sports didn't focus on Parsons' pass rushing, but primarily, his versatility.
“Parsons is versatile, smart, and instinctive. You don’t do what he did in his rookie season if you aren’t a star," CBS wrote. "Versatility is needed at the linebacker position, and his versatility is the reason why Parsons comes in at No. 1 on our list.”
Versatility is definitely a way to describe Parsons. Outside of his innate ability to terrorize signal callers, Parsons was incredible as an off-ball linebacker as well.
With 84 tackles and 20 tackles for a loss, Parsons was a force roaming and hitting at linebacker as well. He flew to the ball with blazing speed and consistently closed on ball carriers in a flash.
The most under-appreciated aspect of Parsons' game? His coverage. He allowed no touchdowns in coverage last season on 284 snaps.
Furthermore, he continually made impact plays in coverage as well, such as in the play below where he caused a Jayron Kearse interception.
Antonio Brown Offers 'Production,' Wants to Sign with Cowboys
Antonio Brown thinks Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should give him a call.
Cowboys Ex Dez Bryant on Rookie QB: 'I Believe the Hype'
Bryant's verdict is in after watching Atlanta's preseason win against Detroit Friday.
Cowboys Ex Deion Sanders Rips Hall of Fame: 'I Need a Different Jacket'
"There needs to be a starting 11," argued Sanders. "There needs to be an upper room. My head don’t belong with some of these other heads that’s in the Hall of Fame.''
The skill, stats and abilities are all there, but Parsons has the determination to be even better. When talking about his goals for sacks this season, Parsons didn't state an aspiration for anything other than incredible
"Yeah, 15's like the minimum. 15's what I wanna hit," Parsons told CBS Sports of his goals for 2022. "But definitely 23 is that goal, to break the record."
It's heady stuff.
Parsons certainly has the makings of the NFL's best linebacker, and looks to improve even more going forward while cementing his legacy with Dallas.
Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Dallas Cowboys? Subscribe to the Daily Cowboys SI Newsletter with Mike Fisher now!
Follow FishSports on Twitter
Follow Cowboys / Fish on Facebook