The Dallas Cowboys picked up a huge win in their first game without quarterback Dak Prescott on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-17. Leading the charge for the Cowboys was their defense, and Micah Parsons was the spearhead, much like Week 1.
Last season’s Defensive Rookie of the Year racked up two more sacks on Sunday. Parsons now has 17 sacks in his first 18 games, the most by any defender in NFL history over that span.
Most sacks by an NFL player in first 18 games of his career:— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) September 19, 2022
1) Micah Parsons—17.0
2) Aldon Smith—16.5
T-3) Joey Bosa—16.0
T-3) Clay Matthews—16.0
T-5) John Abraham—15.5
T-5) Simeon Rice—15.5
The performance of Parsons was a continuation of an incredible start to his second year in the league. His two sacks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave him the most multi-sack games for any player in Cowboys history in their first two seasons. After Sunday, Parsons put his name in the Cowboys record books once again, becoming the fourth player in team history to start a season with multiple sacks in the first two games (Charles Haley, DeMarcus Ware, DeMarcus Lawrence).
Parsons looks to be even better than a season ago when the argument can be made that he deserved Defensive Player of the Year honors over T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers with the multitude of ways he can wreck a game. He currently leads the NFL in sacks and tackles for loss with four and he has an unreal seven quarterback hits and 13 pressures through the first two games.
.@dallascowboys @MicahhParsons11 it’s the MPP all over again for the entire NFL. the Micah Parsons Problem. He is changing the game like few have done! The Hungry Lion is only happy when he eats #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/ZJHFj6KAAr— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) September 19, 2022
Parsons is the best player on the Cowboys’ defense, unquestioned. However, football is the ultimate team game, and great players need the parts around them to perform for them to succeed. Parsons is well aware of that and was complimentary of his teammates after their first win of the season.
“One lion can’t do it by himself,” Parsons said. “You need a pride. If there’s 10 hyenas and one lion, the lion’s liable to lose.
“The fact that I got 10 other guys out there that I feel like I can rely on, that’s what makes this boat go round.”
Parsons and the Cowboys now have their first NFC East test of the season on the horizon when they travel to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Giants next Monday night. It will be crucial for the Cowboys to continue their excellent start defensively on the road, meaning Parsons will likely need another huge game to ensure that happens.
Feature image via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports