Micah Parsons by the numbers: Cowboys set to have best rookie season ever for a defensive player


Micah Parsons is the play that transformed the Dallas Cowboys defense from one of the worst in the NFL to one of the best. Before the Cowboys selected Parsons with the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, Dallas finished with the 28th ranked defense in points allowed and 23rd in yards allowed. This season, the Cowboys are seventh in runs and 19th in yards – a big reason the team won the NFC East and are an 11-4 Super Bowl contender.

Parsons has been a force for the Cowboys since day one, registering 79 tackles, 13 sacks, three forced fumbles and three defensive passes while lining up as a forward and linebacker for the Cowboys. He has 45 presses and 29 quarterback hits, both of which are in the top three for all defensive players.

At just 15 games into his career, Parsons has already established himself as one of the best defensive players in the game. Not only is his Parsons the favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year, he’s also a player contender. defensive end of the year.

In this week’s “By The Numbers” we dive into Parsons’ rookie season and where he ranks among the best defensive rookies in NFL history.

NFL Officers – Bags

  • TJ Watt (Steels) – 17
  • Robert Quinn (Bear) – 17
  • Nick Bosa (49ers) – 15
  • Myles Garrett (Browns) – 15
  • Trey Hendrickson (Bengal) – 14
  • Micah Parsons (Cowboys) – 13
  • NFL Officers – QB Hits

  • TJ Watt (Steels) – 31
  • Nick Bosa (49ers) – 30
  • Micah Parsons (Cowboys) – 29
  • Myles Garrett (Browns) – 29
  • Jonathan Allen (Washington) – 27
  • NFL Officers – Pressures

  • Nick Bosa (49ers) – 46
  • Myles Garrett (Browns) – 46
  • Micah Parsons (Cowboys) – 45
  • TJ Watt (Steels) – 42
  • Matt Judon (Patriots) – 42
  • Trey Hendrickson (Bengal) – 42
  • * By professional football reference

    What Parsons was able to accomplish in his rookie season is incredible. Parsons had 9.5 sacks in six games (his streak of six straight sacks), which was the most for a rookie in league history for that many games. He’s one of five players with 13 sacks and three forced fumbles this season, joining Watt, Quinn, Bosa and Hendrickson.

    Parsons has the second highest pressure rating of any defenseman in the league at 21.6% (by Pro Football Focus), behind Devin White (25.9%). His 10.3% stop rate is the fourth highest in the NFL, behind Denzel Perryman, Nick Bolton and teammate Leighton Vander Esch.

    What makes Parsons dominant is his ability to play almost any position in defense. Parsons played 454 linebacker snaps, 347 defensive line, 25 cornerback and one safe, making him one of the NFL’s most versatile players. The Cowboys were in the top 10 take-out advocates before Parsons, but he made them the NFL’s No. 1 in that department.

    How does Parsons’ rookie campaign compare to the greatest of all time?

    Most Sacks By A Rookie – NFL History

  • Jevon Kearse (Titans, 1999) – 14.5
  • Aldon Smith (49, 2011) – 14
  • Dwight Freeney (Colts, 2002) – 13
  • Micah Parsons (Cowboys, 2021) – 13
  • Reggie White (Eagles, 1985) – 13
  • * Sacks became an official statistic in 1982

    Most Rookie Quarterback Hits – NFL History

  • Micah Parsons (Cowboys, 2021) – 29
  • Von Miller (Broncos, 2011) – 29
  • Aldon Smith (49, 2011) – 27
  • Kamerion Wimbley (Browns, 2006) – 26
  • Nick Bosa (Browns, 2019) – 25
  • * QB hits became an official statistic in 2006

    Most Rookie Lost Tackles – NFL History

  • Kendrell Bell (Steels, 2001) – 23
  • Lavonte David (Les boucaniers, 2012) – 20
  • Dwight Freeney (Colts, 2002) – 20
  • Von Miller (Broncos, 2011) – 19
  • Micah Parsons (Cowboys, 2021) – 18
  • Aaron Donald (Rams, 2014) – 18
  • * TFL became an official statistic in 1999

    Parsons could hold all three marks by the end of the season and has two games to get two sacks and six tackles for a loss. He already has the most quarterback hits for a rookie, showing his dominance given he’s only played 15 games. Parsons is the sixth player since losing tackles became an official statistic in 1999 to have at least 12 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss in his rookie campaign – and is the only player to reach those marks in his first 14 games. Parsons and Dwight Freeney are the only rookies in league history to lose 13 sacks and 18 tackles in their first season.

    Parsons is one of eight players in NFL history to total 13 sacks, 75 tackles, three defensive passes and three forced fumbles in the same season – and the first rookie to accomplish the feat. If Parsons scores another quarterback and hits 30, he’ll join JJ Watt as the only player on this list to have those numbers – and 30 quarterback moves (since quarterbacks were first called in 2006). ).

    Not only does Parsons set new benchmarks for league rookies, he’s also rewriting the Cowboys’ record book. Parsons’ 6.5 sacks in November are the most in a single month in Cowboys history for a rookie, and he has three multi-sack games in his first season in the NFL – the most of those. games by a Cowboys rookie in team history.

    Harvey Martin is the only Cowboys player to win Defensive Player of the Year (1977). Based on the impact Parsons had on the Cowboys defense and how he ranks among the best players in the game, he could hold this trophy in seven weeks.

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