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Micah Parsons Unanimously Named NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year

Former Penn State and current Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons was named the NFL’s 2021 Defensive Rookie of the Year at the annual NFL Honors ceremony Thursday night.

Parsons is the second Nittany Lion to ever win the award and the first since linebacker Shane Conlan won it in 1987. He is also the Dallas Cowboys’ first-ever Defensive Rookie of the Year recipient.

With his unanimous selection, Parsons becomes the first-ever unanimous Defensive Rookie of the Year in league history.

Defensive Rookie of the Year is not the first distinction bestowed upon the Harrisburg native. Parsons was the only rookie named to the 2022 All-Pro Team and also earned a Pro Bowl selection, where he recorded a strip-sack on former Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.

Parsons’ prolific season was characterized by 13 sacks, 84 tackles (including 20 for a loss), three pass deflections, and three forced fumbles. His sack total was the most for a rookie in Dallas Cowboys’ history and third-most in NFL history.

Despite being drafted as a linebacker, due to the Cowboys’ early-season injury woes, in week two Parsons converted to defensive end — a position he had not played since high school. The change resulted in an explosion of production that vaulted him into the conversation amongst the league’s elite pass rushers.

Parsons’ versatility paid dividends in the rebuild of Dallas’ defense. The defense went from allowing the fourth-most points per game in 2020 to the seventh-fewest in 2021. After the Cowboys’ first-round exit from the NFL Playoffs, Parsons will have a full offseason to develop under a returning coaching staff and get fully healthy. The sky’s the limit for one of the NFL’s highest-profile Nittany Lions.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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