On a dreary day for the Dallas Cowboys in Kansas City, there was one ray of light that stood out: rookie linebacker Micah Parsons.
Parsons sacked Patrick Mahomes twice on the day, including chasing down the former MVP quarterback for a strip-sack during the Cowboys' 19-9 loss to the Chiefs. It's not hyperbole to suggest that Parsons almost singlehandedly kept Dallas in a game that could have been a bad blowout with the offense unable to find any traction.
"He's a special player," Mahomes said of Parsons, via the Cowboys' official team website. "I mean, to be that good of a linebacker and be able to play defensive end, there's not a lot of guys like that in this league. He has a high motor. He chased me down on that sack, the strip-sack, and the whole game he was in there the whole time battling and battling."
After Dallas gave up 16 points on the Chiefs' first three drives of the game (one FG coming on a short field), the Cowboys clamped down on Mahomes and Co. the rest of the contest, allowing a single field goal on eight non-kneel possessions, despite being put in bad spots by the limp offense.
"I thought we played great defense," Parsons said. "That team can give you 45-50 (points) on any given day. To hold their offense under 20 points, we definitely did the job. It's good, but it's not good enough."
Parsons has generated 5.5 sacks over the last three games (2.5 in first seven games). The rookie has generated 8.0 sacks, 62 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 18 QB hits this season -- he's the only player in NFL with five-plus sacks and 60-plus tackles this season.
With Sunday's performance, Parsons became just the second rookie in the last 20 seasons with eight-plus sacks and 40-plus tackles in his first career 10 games. The other? 2011 Defensive Rookie of the Year Von Miller.
Parsons' eight sacks are tied for the most in a season by a Cowboys rookie in franchise history, matching DeMarcus Ware in 2005. The rookie has seven more games to set the record, starting with Thursday afternoon's matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, as the 7-3 Cowboys attempt to bounce back from their latest dud.