Former PSU star Micah Parsons is Vegas favorite to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year

Micah Parsons #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Micah Parsons #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /

Micah Parsons has seen second place twice for NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022, so is 2023 the year for Parsons?

I believe the former Penn State standout is primed to receive the top individual honor in the professional ranks in his third season for the Dallas Cowboys.

In 2021, Parsons was the runner-up for the award to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, and in 2022, Parsons lost to San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa.

Parsons has won NFL awards before, in 2021, he won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. In addition, he has also been selected for the pro-bowl twice and selected as an all-pro twice.

In 2022, Parsons played in 17 games and totaled

  • 13.5 Sacks
  • 42 Solo Tackles
  • 3 Forced Fumbles
  • 13 Tackles For Loss
  • 26 Quarterback Hits
  • 65 Combined Tackles

Some would argue that he had a better rookie season in 2021 than he did in 2022.

In 2021, Parsons played in 16 games and finished the season with:

  • 64 Solo Tackles
  • 84 Combined Tackles
  • 20 Tackles For Loss
  • 13 Sacks
  • 30 Quarterback Hits
  • 3 Forced Fumbles

In his two-year career, Parsons has so far played in 33 games (excluding playoffs):

  • 149 Combined Tackles
  • 106 Solo Tackles
  • 33 Tackles For Loss
  • 56 Quarterback Hits
  • 6 Forced Fumbles
  • 26.5 Sacks

Parsons is listed as a linebacker on the Dallas Cowboys’ website but is used as an edge rusher during the season. Luckily, Dallas has been able to retain defensive coordinator Dan Quinn — who has turned down other head coaching opportunities to stay in his current role — which has allowed him to get creative and build rapport with his top defensive playmaker.

While being used as an edge rusher, Parsons can line up on both sides of the ball, creating matchup nightmares for offensive coordinators. He will take on the best tackles in the game and win over half the time. Still, there are times where he will line up as a traditional linebacker and rush in designed blitz packages. He’s truly a jack-of-all trades generational talent.

Vegas Has Micah Parsons as front runner for DPOY in 2023

There’s a reason Las Vegas makes so much money on sports betting — whoever the mysterious oddsmakers are behind-the-scenes — spend hours, days, months and years studying trends, production and a series of factors when determining a final betting line.

With NFL preseason fully underway and the regular season kicking off in just a few weeks, all of the major sportsbooks agree the former Penn State quarterback wrecker is the hands down favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year this season.

The sportsbooks have the following odds for Parsons to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2023:

  • DraftKings: +600
  • FanDuel: +500
  • BETMGM: +450
  • Caesars Sportsbook: +550
  • PointsBet: +500

It’s clear why, nearly every highlight coming out of camp so far highlights Micah Parsons wrecking practice of the Cowboys’ offense.

My prediction for Parsons in the 2023 season:

  • 61 Solo Tackles
  • 88 Combined Tackles
  • 16 Sacks
  • 22 Tackles For Loss
  • 3 Forced Fumbles
  • 32 Quarterback Hits

Sure, those may sound lofty, but the Cowboys have one of the top defenses in the league and added more young talent in the NFL Draft. It will be impossible to double-team Micah Parsons on every play — and on a year where many believe Penn State can reach the College Football Playoff — one of their former players can accomplish a major NFL feat.

It could be a landmark year for Nittany Lions football.