It's not a hot take to say that Micah Parsons has clearly been the best player in the NFL through the first two weeks of the season. He's also playing on a team that has objectively been the most dominant in the league by a huge margin.
But he's not a quarterback.
Holding those two sides of the coin in balance, is it realistic to start thinking about Parsons as a potential NFL MVP candidate for 2023? The betting public certainly doesn't think so.
Cowboys Rumors: Micah Parsons for MVP?
Parsons has been otherworldly good to start his third NFL season. His stats are dominant, with 3.0 sacks, 4 TFLs, 6 QB hits, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery, but those really don't come close to telling the full story.
He's done that damage while playing a reduced snap count (on the field for only 69% of Dallas' defensive snaps) since the starters are getting to rest in lopsided blowouts, so that's really more like 1.5 games of production for Parsons. And his play has been right at the center of why we're gettitng such big leads.
This is one of those situations where Pro Football Focus backs up the eye test too. They've given Parsons an overall grade of 93.6 to start the year, which is tops among players at all positions.
The Cowboys are 2-0 and massive favorites to move to 3-0 with another blowout, and they are now also heavy favorites to win at least 12 games in the regular season.
So it's crystal clear — Parsons checks every box as an MVP candidate except for one. It brings us back to the eternal question: Can someone other than a quarterback win MVP?
I honestly think they can, especially with the evolution of sports media and discourse around the award. Plenty of people are sick of quarterbacks being locks to win the award, and that vocal contingent is getting louder by the year.
We also have an interesting situation brewing right now. There are eight undefeated teams right now, and only one of them has a quarterback playing at a level that could win him MVP (Tua Tagovailoa on the Miami Dolphins). It's a long season and there's plenty of time for the usual suspects like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen to stake their claim, but this could be a bit of a cloudy year for the MVP race.
Still, to me that's still not enough for Parsons to win the award. Whether he should is another conversation, but I just don't see it happening.
The Cowboys are one of the franchises that does get enough media coverage to have a non-QB win the award, but Parsons' schedule is going to get a ton more difficult after this soft start to the year, and having his real breakout come at the start of the season will work against him.
Once MVP voting really becomes a conversation down the stretch, Week 1 is always a distant memory. Sorry to everyone who is hoping to get a 50-to-1 payout on Parsons, but the NFL media just isn't going to be convinced.
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