Over the past three games, the Dallas Cowboys have struggled to remain consistent. Yet one player has been consistently impressive for the team’s defense. I’m talking – of course – about rookie Micah Parsons. Week after week, he shows up big. But in Thanksgiving, Parsons could be in store for his biggest performance yet.
Through 11 weeks this season, Parsons has 8 sacks and might actually be in pursuit of an All-Time NFL Record. In 1999, Jevon Kearse racked up 14.5 sacks as a rookie for the Tennessee Titans.* That’s right, Micah Parsons might not be that far away from the record owned by a player nicknamed The Freak.
Side note: Fun fact, Jevon Kearse was actually the first-ever draft pick for the Tennessee Titans. He was drafted 16th overall by the team previously known as the Houston Oilers. He won defensive rookie of the month all but one month of the 1999 NFL season. Not only did he lead the league with his record 14.5 sacks, but also in forced fumbles with eight. The Freak, indeed!
Now granted, the Dallas Cowboys rookie might have the ability to break such a record. But it’s also a matter of where will Dan Quinn will actually use Micah Parsons. Especially since DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory should be rejoining the defense. Would that push Parsons back to linebacker for most of his playing time?
That remains to be seen. In the meantime, Parsons is likely getting another shot at headhunting when the Cowboys take the field against the 5-5 Las Vegas Raiders. At least, he’s getting practice time with the edge rushers in a short week.
Cowboys rookie LB/DE Micah Parsons working with Dan Quinn and the edge rushers to start practice pic.twitter.com/rYpPdFuE9T
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 23, 2021
It makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys to go this route with Parsons this week. Beyond LT Kolton Miller, the Raiders offensive line is struggling. Right Tackle Brandon Parker isn’t athletic enough to match up with the rookie’s speed and could have a long day against #11.
According to PFF, Parker has a grade of 48. That would rank him 79th out of 81 eligible tackles. To be fair, PFF’s grades are quite questionable. But Parker has had some rough moments this season. Including last week’s incident against the Cincinnati Bengals.
This was CBS’ TV color analyst call of it: “The right tackle Brandon Parker trying to block (Hubbard), blocked air, and then hit the ground. And Sam Hubbard took full advantage of it.”
Even when he’s not rushing the passer against the Raiders, Micah Parsons should have a lot of opportunities at making plays. The Cowboys are facing a Raiders team that’s relied heavily on play-makers on the inside. In the past three games, Derek Carr and Co. have not been able to get much going with their outside receivers.
For more on Micah Parsons and the upcoming Cowboys game, make sure you check out my show A to Z Sports Dallas Primetime!
Featured image via Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports