Cowboys’ Micah Parsons Joins Hall of Fame Company With Sack Mark

Dallas Cowboys, Micah Parsons

Getty Images Dallas Cowboys Edge rusher Micah Parsons. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons took a big step in 2023 in his quest to become one of the greatest defensive players to play the game.

Sunday afternoon in the Cowboys‘ convincing 38-10 victory to clinch the NFC East Championship and No. 2 seed in the playoffs, Parsons was a wrecking ball finishing with one sack, five tackles, and one quarterback hit.

Parsons finished the 2023 campaign with a career-high 14 sacks. In the process, Parsons becomes just the fifth player in NFL history to begin his career with at least 40 sacks through his first three seasons.

The 24-year-old former Penn State standout now resides alongside the likes of Hall of Famers Reggie White and Derrick Thomas, along with Dwight Freeney and Aldon Smith as the only players to produce at least 40 sacks through three seasons.

Since being chosen by the Cowboys with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Parsons has quickly developed a reputation as one of the most dominant and disruptive defensive players in the league. Through his first 50 games, Parsons has logged 40.5 sacks, 213 total tackles, 52 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and 89 quarterback hits.

“I think this year, I’ve improved in almost every aspect of my game,” Parsons told reporters following the Cowboys’ win over Washington. “I’m really committed to getting better and getting into better shape and just everything overall. So, I’m really happy where I’m at right now, but I’d be really excited if I get to where we’re going to.”

The Cowboys wrapped up a second NFC East championship in the past three seasons and will have at least one home game in the NFL Playoffs, but Parsons is far from satisfied.

After all, Dallas has just two playoff victories since 2014 and despite boasting a roster with game-breaking talent, the Cowboys haven’t reached the conference championship game since winning the Super Bowl in 1995.

“Regular season is cute and people are like, ‘Oh you know he played great for a while.’ But this is legacy,” Parsons told reporters. “There’s a term, ‘Be phenomenal or be forgotten. The way Jimmy (Johnson) and Mike (Irvin), the way people show them love, and Charles (Haley), I think that’s for me, CeeDee, Dak all want to be on that legacy and earn our way into that Cowboys hall of fame.”

Parsons figures to play a key role in the Cowboys’ postseason trajectory, but enters with just one sack in his two playoff games to go with 16 total tackles in those contests.

Mike McCarthy Has Much at Stake vs. Packers

Even as the hats and t-shirts were being handed out in the Cowboys locker room Sunday afternoon, Jerry Jones turned up the heat on head coach Mike McCarthy with the playoffs looming.

Jones has seen his franchise suffer embarrassing blowout losses to end their season the past two years, and it does not sound like just winning the division will be enough to guarantee McCarthy is back on the Cowboys’ sideline in 2024.

“I just think his record speaks for itself,” Jones told reporters, according to The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “I think of what he’s done and that we’ve put ourselves in this position over these last three years, I think that does speak for itself. We’ve got a lot of football left and no small part thanks to Mike. … We’ll see how each game goes.”

McCarthy enters Sunday afternoon’s NFC Wild Card tilt against the Packers boasting an 11-10 postseason record, but is just 1-2 as the Cowboys’ head coach.

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