Micah Parsons is officially mainstream. At first, it was just the Dallas Cowboys fan base and media putting the impressive first-round rookie in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year. But as the Lawrence Taylor comparisons start piling up, national media and betting markets have put Parsons as a top contender for Defensive Player of the Year.

It would be a huge achievement for the Cowboys’ LB/DE as only Taylor himself has won the award as a rookie.

Make no mistake about it, Parsons is a legit contender for the award. Even though Myles Garrett (Browns) and T.J. Watt (Steelers) are putting up tremendous seasons, what Parsons has done has earned him a true shot at the trophy. The betting markets agree with it, as we can see from the evolution of Parsons’ betting odds:

But if we’re going to put the Dallas Cowboys defensive diamond, we need to compare his stats to the numbers Watt and Garrett have put up so far.

In the above three key stats, we see how well Micah Parsons stacks with the two favorites for the award. In fact, each of these guys has a lead in one of these metrics. That alone should tell you Parsons belongs in the conversation, especially since he isn’t a full-time pass-rusher and still ranks near the top in sacks and QB hits.

That brings us to pressures. The Dallas Cowboys could see their rookie walk away with the Defensive Player of the Year award because of the following stats. Right now, this is where each player ranks in the league in pressure rate, per TruMedia:

1. Micah Parsons – 22.3%

6. Myles Garrett – 15.9%

12. T.J. Watt – 14.5%

Oh, boy, oh my. Parsons sits atop the NFL at 22.3%. The second player is Randy Gregory at 17.1%! The difference between him and the second place is massive.

But forget about the percentages for a while. At the end of the day, it can be hard to visualize percentages. So instead let’s try taking a look at the total pressures these players have generated.

  • Garrett: 59
  • Parsons: 53
  • Watt: 41

Myles Garrett having 59 pressures is undoubtedly impressive. Here’s the thing though. Micah Parsons has six fewer pressures even though he has 134 fewer pass-rushing snaps than Garrett.

The Dallas Cowboys rookie has 12 more pressures than Watt even though the Steelers’ star has had 45 more pass-rushing snaps than him.

Micah Parsons is being the more efficient pass-rusher of them all while also playing some great defense as a traditional linebacker. Against the run and in coverage (including some Tampa 2 assignments!), Parsons has been playing elite football.

It has officially gotten to the point in which it’s quite difficult to make the argument against Parsons in the DPOY conversation.

For more on Micah Parsons and the Cowboys, check out Tuesday’s show from A to Z Sports Dallas Primetime!

Featured image via Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports