Cowboys' Micah Parsons isn't surprised by his play, ready for primetime vs Saints

It was well known Micah Parsons was a great talent coming out of Penn State, but not many could have predicted the linebacker would be playing this well, this fast. Parsons has all but locked up Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and is quickly becoming one of the leading candidates for Defensive Player of the Year.

Cowboys' Micah Parsons isn't surprised by his play, ready for primetime vs Saints
© File photo Nov 25, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Micah Parsons (11) celebrates making a play in the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The former Nittany Lion leads the club (and all rookies) in sacks with nine, tackles for loss with 15 and is second on the Dallas Cowboys with 67 tackles.  Those numbers are impressive especially considering the Cowboys still have six games left. While some might be surprised  he’s been so productive.

“The expectations are lower for rookies, but I just feel like I work so hard and I have the ability to do it, so I expect to do some of these things,” Parsons said. “I don’t feel like I’ve completed the mission of my goals yet.”

In Week 13, the Cowboys will look to end their two-game losing streak against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. The Cowboys are used to being in primetime and the lights of the Caesars Superdome will be shining brightly in this matchup. Parsons is ready for the challenge.

“Let the eyes be on me,” Parsons said. “It ain’t going to change my preparation. Some people are just born for (the moment), and I believe I was born for it.”

Saints head coach Sean Payton is no stranger to seeing elite defenders go up against his offense seeing as he’s been the head man in New Orleans for 16 seasons. When asked about the ability of Parsons, he had nothing but glowing words to say.

“He jumps off the tape at you. I think more recently at the end position,” Payton said. “He’s impressive when he rushes, obviously when he plays at linebacker the same way. I think when he gets on the tackles, though, and is rushing, he’s a handful.”

Parsons recently completed a dominant November. He finished with 25 tackles (eight tackles for loss), 6.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles. The Cowboys’ final game of the month was against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving, and even though it ended in a loss, Parsons made two big plays in overtime.

After stopping running back Josh Jacobs for a one-yard loss on first down, he sacked quarterback Derek Carr on the next play which broke future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware’s rookie sack record.

While playing on Thanksgiving isn’t technically in primetime, it is a national stage and broke the NFL record for viewership. Parsons recently mentioned that’s when you make plays if you want to be great.

“To be one of the best players…you should shine in that moment,” Parsons said. “I want to be in that moment, I want to make the play, I want that on my back.

“The moments you live for.”

The Cowboys face a critical month of December after losing three out of four games in November. Parsons will have to continue playing at a high level as the Cowboys’ most versatile defender if they are to turn things around.


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