It is hard to say that any defensive rookie was even close to as good as Micah Parsons last season. That is saying something, because it was a talented rookie group with names such as Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn in the top 10. Still, at pick 12, the Dallas Cowboys took Parsons, who was far and away the man.
In fact, while he was easily the best defensive rookie in the NFL, the question was more about whether or not he was the best defensive player. Last season, Parsons was the only player to 75+ tackles, 20+ TFL, and 10+ sacks.
That is one heck of a feat. It is hard for anyone to accomplish this because of the high number of tackles and sacks. Most sack artists do not play far away enough from the ball that they can get tackles like that. For instance, teams can run away from Aaron Donald, who can get 10 sacks every year.
However, because Parsons plays the linebacker role, if runs get to the second level, he probably will be there. On top of that, he can make the tackles for loss if they do not.
The question now is what is in store for year two. Dan Quinn was expected to get a head coaching job, but wound up back as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator for one more season.
Quinn is a key for Parsons because he was in the room when Bobby Wagner was drafted and became a future Hall of Famer. Quinn was there for the best days of Deion Jones for the Atlanta Falcons as well.
The reality is that Quinn knows how to use Micah Parsons. He will not limit him to being just a linebacker, but at the same time will not make him just a pass rusher either. He has worked with rare talents and has always let them be themselves while highlighting their best traits.
Expect this to continue in year two as Micah Parsons continues to dominate.