Dallas Cowboys linebacker/edge rusher Micah Parsons was dynamite during his rookie season in “Big D.” The flamboyant Parsons did a little bit of everything for the Cowboys’ much-improved defense, tallying 84 tackles, 13 sacks, three forced fumbles and three pass deflections.
His play earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, but Parsons isn’t satisfied with one year of stellar play; he’s aiming his sights on the game’s best defensive player in Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, the three-time DPOY.
Parsons also talked about his teammate, cornerback Trevon Diggs, who became the first player with 11 interceptions since former Cowboys defensive back Everson Walls did it in 1981. Parsons believes they can be as formidable together or even better than the aforementioned Donald and his teammate cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The two All-Pro defensive geniuses are considered the best at their positions in the game.
Micah Parsons & Trevon Diggs are the first Cowboys defenders named 1st team All-Pro since Sean Lee in 2016. First time multiple Cowboys defenders have been 1st-team All-Pro since 2009. DeMarcus Ware & Jay Ratliff.
— David Helman (@davidhelman_) January 14, 2022
In an interview with USA Today this week, the former Penn State Nittany Lions star said, “It’s hard to say we’re the best because I know we’re young and still make mistakes. 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.”
Parsons obviously has supreme confidence in his abilities, but it’s extremely far-fetched that he or Diggs will ever reach the level of Donald and Ramsey as a duo or as individual players. While both youngsters were exceptional last season and often played with a veteran’s poise for an upgraded Cowboys defense, Parsons is delusional if he thinks they’re even in the same stratosphere as two guys who are among the greatest to ever do it at their respective positions.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) July 6, 2022
Parsons Loves Diggs’ Confidence
To play cornerback successfully takes an abundance of confidence, belief and a short memory. Diggs seems to have all of those traits, and being a former wide receiver elevates his game further.
Parsons raved about his teammate in the interview.
“That’s what makes him the player he is; his confidence, his willingness to go after the ball. I’ve seen a lot of corners not give up yards, but their teams aren’t winning games. This league is about how many times you can get the ball back, and you get the ball back with turnovers. I’d take that any day of the week.”
Parsons speaks straight facts. However, the probability of another 11-interception season for Diggs isn’t something you can bank on. Which is why Diggs must become technically sound at the position or he’ll continue to give up big plays when he’s not jumping routes.
Parsons And Diggs Have A Long, Long Way To Go
Last season, Parsons burst onto the scene and provided some real versatility for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s defense. And while Diggs led the league in picks, he also allowed over 1,000 yards in coverage (the most in the NFL). On 45 percent of his receptions allowed he gave up a first down or touchdown.
Diggs also allowed the fifth-highest yards per target in the league. And he finished the year tied for most 15 yards or more receptions permitted. So, he has room for improvement despite being named a first-team All-Pro and even garnering some DPOY votes.
As for Parsons, the sacks covered up a lot of deficiencies in his game. He wasn’t the most willing tackler when he was lined up at linebacker, and he was picked on at times in pass coverage. So, while he’s fantasizing about how he and Diggs can be as good or even better than Donald and Ramsey — two Super Bowl champions — let’s not fault the young whippersnapper too much. Let’s just say Parsons has very lofty goals.