If there’s one thing certain in the NFL world, it’s the Dallas Cowboys’ annual promise to overdeliver. Usually it’s straight from the mouth of team owner Jerry Jones. However, the billionaire isn’t on the hook this time. Instead, it’s unanimous 2021 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons making bold claims for his future with fellow Cowboy Trevon Diggs.
As the linebacking-extraordinaire enters his second season, Parsons views record-setting league-wide domination as the next step. Finishing his rookie year with 13 sacks, the 23-year-old has single-season sacks records on his mind. Set at 22.5 in 2001 by Michael Strahan and matched last season by Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt, Parsons’ production requires a massive leap.
However, crediting his own determination and the return of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
But Parsons’ plans for domination in a league overflowing with defensive stars relies on teammate Trevon Diggs. In an interview with USA TODAY Sports, Parsons expresses a humble attitude, but with wide-eyes. The linebacker says, “It’s hard to say we’re the best because I know we’re young and we still make mistakes.”
In 2021, Diggs – the brother of Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs – impressed with flash, but struggled with routine. Hauling in 11 interceptions tied a Cowboys record, but allowing 1,051 passing yards was the most since 2016.
Highlighting a tremendous playmaking ability while sacrificing big plays matches the style of Los Angeles Rams corner Jalen Ramsey. Parsons believes in the comparison, but takes it to another level, stating, “It’s hard to put us over Aaron Donald, the greatest defensive player in history, with Jalen Ramsey. So I won’t do it yet. But I think we can become them or even better if we learn together and stick together.”
Micah Parsons Isn’t the Only Cowboy With Eyes on Greatness
While Parsons and Diggs anchor the defensive phase, Dak Prescott looks ahead toward 2022 as his coming-out party. A full season removed from a devastatingly gruesome leg injury, Prescott can once again focus his offseason on improvement – not rehabilitation.
Following a team minicamp practice, Prescott told reporters, “I mean just being able to get the team reps, being able to move more, take care of my whole body and just focus on everything and not just my leg is a huge difference.”
A shocking Wild Card weekend defeat to spoil last season’s successes leaves a bitter taste for Parsons, Prescott and Diggs. But a renewed sense of focus has the Dallas Cowboys a Super Bowl candidate heading into the season.