Quarterbacks have won NFL MVP for nine straight seasons, but could Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons be a dark horse to upset recent tradition this year?
VOCH LOMBARDI: What's up, y'all? It's Voch Lombardi, watching every second of the NFL season, when and where you want it, only on the zone.
[INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PLAYING]
So I had to ask my friends, I asked around, I said, what's it going to take for a non-quarterback to win the MVP this year, right? And that prompted me to go look up some old non-quarterbacks and see who won the MVP of the year that they won it, and how they won it, which is more important. And, look, this is no offense to Josh Allen, and Pat Mahomes, you know, Lamar Jackson. I even seen that Jalen Hurts is in the running for MVP now in Vegas. I'm like, yeah, y'all are doing too much. But Adrian Peterson in 2012, he was 9 yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson's record with 2,097 yards when he won the MVP. LaDainian Tomlinson, in 2006, he had to rush for 28 touchdowns in 2006. He won the MVP there. And Shaun Alexander rushed for 27 in 2005, when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, and his 1,880 yards. You have to put up some Hercules numbers and damn near break records in order to be an MVP and not a quarterback, right?
This brings me to Micah Parsons, right? Micah Parsons, in 18 games, has 17 sacks, and I think that's the most by any player that has played 18 games, and he is on pace this year, he has four sacks in two games. So, by the math, and this the only way I can do the math, because I'm not good at math, he is on pace for 34 sacks this year. He's on pace for it. Now, normally, when I see these stats that are on pace for something, I typically don't believe them. Micah Parsons isn't gonna get 34 sacks, and I pulled out my handy-dandy notebook to see what teams the Dallas Cowboys have left. If I say "we," pardon me, because I'm a Cowboys fan, and I am biased. Micah Parsons has the Giants, Commanders, Rams, in which the Rams gave up many sacks to Von Miller Week 1 there, Eagles, Lions, Bears, Packers, Vikings, Giants, Colts, Texans, Jags, Eagles, Titans, Commanders again. You're not going to tell me Micah Parsons can't end this year with 34 sacks. A lot of these teams have offensive line issues, and Micah Parsons isn't a guy that's just going to rush from one spot.
Dan Quinn, who is a wizard on this Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, the DC, he takes these players that probably weren't good anywhere else, and he just makes them fantastic. So take a dude like Micah Parsons, who is talented, naturally talented, who wasn't even a pass rusher at first, and Dan Quinn said, OK, cool, we're going to make you a pass rusher, and not only are we going to make you that, but we're going to rush you from every single spot. So Micah Parsons had sacks from the C gap, the D gap, dealing with running backs, chasing people down, running over guards and centers. Micah Parsons gets sacks from everywhere. So what's going to end up happening is, if you're the Cowboys, if you're Dan Quinn, you get to play against these other teams and see where their deficiencies are on offense, especially the offensive line. I call this "find the scrub," a good old game of which offensive lineman is your worst one, and I'm going to come after that dude.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, look, Tristan Wirfs is a fantastic dude. Let's go put him on Donovan Smith and see what happens. He whoops him. Donovan Smith gets hurt, back-up left tackle comes in, Micah Parsons helps him. This week, versus the Cincinnati Bengals, let's go whoop up on La'el Collins. OK, I've whooped La'el Collins enough for the day. Let's go on the other side and whoop Jonah Williams. Let's find dudes that we can find these wins, we can find these mismatches with, and let's take advantage of that. That's what Micah Parsons brings to the table.
Now, Micah Parsons, I don't think that Micah Parsons will just simply break the sack record this year. I think he will break the sack record. But I don't think he'll just lightly break the sack record. You remember when Michael Strahan was gonna break the sack record, and he was against Brett Favre, and Brett Favre kind of fell down, and just went, oh, no, and just let Michael Strahan sack him, and all right, Michael Strahan, you got the sack. I don't think that's going to be the case here. I think Micah Parsons will not only break the sack record, I think he will shatter it. Micah Parsons, if healthy, he'll probably break the sack record around Week 14, 15, something like that, and the rest of the weeks, he'll just be padding the stats, getting it better. Oh, whoa, well, y'all gotta get 38 sacks to catch me. I know it sounds weird, right? That sounds like a lot of sacks. But think about the offensive lines that the Dallas Cowboys have, and think about who they have to play moving forward, and think about the pace that he's on right now. Two sacks a game will get you there. Two sacks a game sounds ridiculous, but so is Micah Parsons.
[INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PLAYING]