Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons had one of the best rookie seasons in history for a defensive player. He won defensive rookie of the year unanimously, made All-Pro and finished second in defensive player of the year voting after 13 sacks, 20 tackles for loss and 30 quarterback hits in 16 starts.
COVID-19 in Week 18 prevented Parsons from getting a chance to break the rookie sacks record of 14.5 set by Titans edge rusher Jevon Kearse in 1999.
Parsons, who earlier this offseason informed DeMarcus Lawrence the defensive end wasn’t getting the team sacks lead back, is eyeing even more sacks in 2022.
“Yeah, 15’s like the minimum. Fifteen is what I want to hit,” Parsons told Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports. “But definitely 23 is that goal, to break the record.”
Steelers edge rusher TJ Watt tied Michael Strahan’s single-season record last season with 22.5 sacks. Watt won defensive player of the year over Parsons.
Parsons faces even higher expectations in 2022.
“I just take the blessings that God gave me,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need to reach anyone’s expectations but my own. If I can live with it, I can deal with it. I’m going to just go out there and play my game. I don’t want to go out there and chase no one’s story. I’ve just got to do my thing, and that’s what got me here, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”
Parsons revealed this offseason that he played 2021 with a knee injury. He downplayed his health all season but finally admitted he hyperextended his knee in a joint training camp practice against the Rams on Aug. 7.
So, this season, he hopes full health and a year of experience will help him accomplish even more in his second season.