Before Micah Parsons was drafted 12th-overall to the Dallas Cowboys, he said his goal was to be Defensive Rookie of the Year in his first season in the NFL.
As the Harrisburg, Pa. native enters his rookie season, Parsons is poised to make an impact on a Cowboys defense that ranked amongst the worst in the NFL in 2020 against the rush (31st in yards allowed, 30th in yards per attempt).
Below is a game-by-game tracker of the Cowboys newest linebacker Micah Parsons in his rookie season.
Week 1 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sept. 9)
In his NFL debut, Micah Parsons and the Dallas Cowboys opened the 2021-22 season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football. The bright lights against the defending Super Bowl Champions were a spotlight to the rookie from Harrisburg. Parsons recorded seven total tackles (three solo tackles) with one pass defended and one quarterback hit on seven-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady. He was third on the defense in total tackles behind CB Anthony Brown (11 TOT, 6 solo) and S Jayron Kearse (11 TOT, 5 solo).
Some NFL analysts cited his performance in pass coverage as a clear weakness in the linebacker’s game. This was highlighted midway through the fourth quarter, as Brady found Leonard Fournette on the sideline on 2nd & 4 to the Dallas 34-yard line with Parsons in coverage. That drive resulted in a Chris Godwin fumble in the end zone recovered by the Cowboys.
Dallas lost the game on a last-second 36-yard field goal from Bucs kicker Ryan Succop, 31-29. The Cowboys are 0-1 on the season.
Week 2 at Los Angeles Chargers (Sept. 19)
The second week of Micah Parsons‘ NFL career comes with a position shift. Due to multiple injuries in the Dallas defensive line, Parsons moved from linebacker to defensive end against the Los Angeles Chargers. The former high school DE recorded his first NFL sack in the game.
The Chargers trailed by just three with five minutes to play and were within the Cowboys 10-yard-line. As QB Justin Herbert dropped back, Parsons pursued and brought him down. The 18-yard loss brought up third down, and the Chargers would ultimately kick a field goal to tie.
Dallas went on to win 20-17 on a last-second 56-yard field goal from K Greg Zuerlein. Parsons finished with two solo tackles and the one sack. He also had 8 pressures in the game which is the most by a rookie since Nick Bosa in 2019.
Week 3 vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Sept. 27)
Week 4 vs. Panthers (Oct. 3)
Week 5 vs. New York Giants (Oct. 10)
Week 6 at New England Patriots (Oct. 17)
Week 7 – Bye Week
Week 8 at Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 31)
Week 9 vs. Denver Broncos (Nov. 7)
Week 10 vs. Atlanta Falcons (Nov. 14)
Week 11 at Kansas City Chiefs (Nov. 21)
Week 12 vs. Las Vegas Raiders (Nov. 25)
Week 13 at New Orleans Saints (Dec. 2)
Week 14 at Washington Football Team (Dec. 12)
Week 15 at New York Giants (Dec. 19)
Week 16 vs. Washington Football Team (Dec. 26)
Week 17 vs. Arizona Cardinals (Jan. 2)
Week 18 at Philadelphia Eagles (Jan. 9)
Parsons grew up in Harrisburg, Pa. where he wrestled, played basketball and football. He went on to play two seasons at Penn State, where he was asked to switch from defensive end to linebacker. After his sophomore season, he chose to opt out of the 2020 Big Ten football season while the conference debated playing the season amid COVID-19 concerns.
Parsons was drafted 12th-overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Dallas Cowboys. Parsons father, Terrence, is a die-hard Cowboys fan, and the LB said his future in the franchise was written in the stars.
Parsons hopes to become the Defensive Rookie of the Year in the 2021-22 NFL season.