Cowboys' Micah Parsons 'Easily' Voted 2021 NFL DROY by Execs: 'A Hell of a Year'December 23, 2021
It should come as no surprise that NFL executives believe Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons will win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Per NFL.com's Tom Pelissero, Parsons received 20 of 23 votes for the honor in a survey of high-ranking officials from teams across the league.
One NFC executive said, "Micah's having a hell of a year" for the Cowboys, adding:
"Every time we study them, he's making plays all over the joint. And he's such a versatile piece. Whether he's playing off the edge, playing in the middle, dropping, moving forward—he's sideline-to-sideline. He's easily the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and I don't know that he's not the Defensive Player of the Year."
When the Cowboys selected Parsons with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft out of Penn State, there was a thought that he wasn't even their first or second choice.
Sports Illustrated's Mike Fisher reported prior to the draft the Cowboys were leaning toward South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn but that they would also be "ecstatic" to get Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
The Cowboys had to pivot because the Carolina Panthers took Horn at No. 8, followed by Surtain going to the Denver Broncos at 9. They wound up trading down two spots with the Philadelphia Eagles to select Parsons.
Things couldn't have worked out better for Dallas thus far, as Parsons has been the most impactful rookie on either side of the ball this season.
Per Pro Football Focus, Parsons leads all rookies in pressures (57), sacks (12) and pass-rushing grade (92.7). He's tied with T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers for the second-most tackles for loss in the NFL (17).
Parsons' value is only enhanced by the fact that he also plays off-ball linebacker, in addition to lining up on the edge as a pass-rusher. The 22-year-old allows the sixth-fewest yards per coverage snap among linebackers with a minimum of 25 targets, per John Owning of Pro Football Focus.
Dallas currently ranks third in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA and seventh in points allowed per game (20.9).
Surtain received the other three votes in the survey. He is tied for ninth in the league with four interceptions and tied for 15th with 12 pass breakups in 14 games.