This week, three days before the Super Bowl, the most outstanding players of the year will be awarded in the NFL Honors. These accolades, whose winners are chosen by The Associated Press, are among the highest honors a league player can receive each season. And, according to the forecasts, there is a clear favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year: Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons.
This is how they let you see the NFL Network Predictions published this Tuesday by the chain on its website. These projections were made by a panel of 29 leading analysts. In the case of Defensive Rookie of the Year, the vote was unanimous in favor of Parsons.
The reasons for this unanimous vote are quite clear. This is how Gil Brandt, a former Cowboys executive and current sports analyst, let it be seen when explaining why he chose Parsons as the probable winner of this award.
“To be a great linebacker in the NFL you need size, speed, competitiveness and great reaction skills, and Parsons ranks very high for those traits.”Brandt said. “He could be the best since Lawrence Taylor entered the league in 1981. (…) Parsons is the only professional player who, in the last quarter century according to NFL Research, has achieved 80 tackles and 10 sacks. He is simply the best rookie I have ever seen at his position, making it an easy decision for this award.”
Remember that the winners of the NFL Honors are chosen by The Associated Press. However, in the case of the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, Micah Parsons looks set to be the clear winner. In fact, that is the trend that has been seen in other awards from specialized media.
Recently, Pro Football Focus (PFF) chose Parsons as the Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Penn State product was also the highest-rated linebacker of the season on the platform, with a rating of 88.5. Additionally, Parsons is the highest-rated pass-rusher in the NFL in PFF, with a rating of 93.0.
— PFF (@PFF) January 13, 2022
But that has not been the only recognition in important media. Days ago, the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) chose Parsons as Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year. In fact, he became the first Cowboys rookie to be honored by the PFWA on defense.
These accolades are in addition to Defensive Rookie of the Year at the 101 Awards and two consecutive NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month awards between November and December. And, of course, Parsons’ selection to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro.
.@MicahhParsons11 stays collecting 🏆s.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 25, 2022
With how well Micah Parsons performed in his first year in the NFL, it’s no wonder he’s the clear favorite for that award. The rookie was instrumental in rebuilding Dallas’ defense in 2021. This, in large part, is because defensive coordinator Dan Quinn took advantage of Parsons’ versatility to play different positions: linebacker, designated pass-rusher, and even cornerback at certain plays.
Thanks to this versatility, Parsons set these regular season records: 84 combined tackles, 20 tackles for loss of yards, 30 quarterback hits, 13 sacks, three passes defensed and three forced fumbles, all in 16 games. Other than that, he recorded nine combined tackles and one tackle for loss in the wild-card round game against the 49ers.
In fact, Parsons was also among the favorites for Defensive Player of the Year. However, the clear winner of that award points to Steelers linebacker TJ Watt. Watt had a big production in 2021, even managing to tie the NFL’s all-time record for sacks (22.5 sacks). Therefore, Parsons is almost ruled out to win that award.
This play by Micah Parsons. wow pic.twitter.com/mpPNO5TjiL
— Dallas Cowboys Collaboration (@mailman_phil) January 2, 2022
However, being chosen as the Defensive Rookie of the Year is still an important achievement for Parsons in his first season in the NFL. The linebacker knows there are many awards to come in his career. However, he has his goal set on achieving the jackpot: winning a Super Bowl.
“I have never been a loser in my life”said the Penn State product in statements collected by ESPN’s Todd Archer. “I will get to a Super Bowl. I don’t know when or how, but being in a Super Bowl is in my plan and God’s plan for me.”
For now, it remains to wait until Thursday night to find out the awards for the most outstanding of the year in the NFL Honors. If the projections hold, Micah Parsons will be the winner in the Defensive Rookie of the Year section. If so, that will be the award that ends the great season that the Cowboys linebacker had.
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Will Micah Parsons be the NFL Honors Defensive Rookie of the Year?