ARLINGTON, Texas – Immediately following this wild win for the Cowboys, I got asked my thoughts for the MVP of the game.
Hmm, so many choices. Cooper Rush gets his second career start and rallies the team for a last-second win. Or there's Noah Brown, or kept them in the game early with his best game of his career. And then there's Brett Maher, who drilled two 50-yarders, including the game-winner in the final seconds.
Those are all great picks. I think our team went with Maher.
Me personally, Micah Parsons ... and it's not even close.
Micah Parsons is the best player on the field and that includes both sides of the ball.
No. 11 for the Cowboys might just be the best overall player in the NFL and he showed it every single time he was out there.
Before I go any further, let me point out that I picked the Bengals to win this game, thinking the Cowboys' injury issues would be too much to overcome. However, I've pointed out this statement many times in the last 72 hours and it definitely held true for this game.
When you have the best player on the field, you ALWAYS have a chance to win.
The Cowboys had the best, and he gave them the chance to win this one.
You might not have seen a lot of plays in the final drive. He certainly wasn't the one kicking the final field goal.
But the reason the Bengals had just three points at the half and only nine heading into the fourth quarter was Parsons.
Go back and watch the game if you've got the chance ... Parsons affects EVERY SINGLE PLAY.
Apologize for shouting in all caps, but that's the only way to relay this message. Micah Parsons is an absolute freak of nature and he's damn-near unblockable, especially with the two and three games they put on him.
One-on-one, it's not happening and it certainlh didn't happen much Sunday against the Bengals. Now, if there's a spot on their roster that is considered a weak link, its the offensive line – a line that was supposed to be retooled in the offense with veteran additions such as La'el Collins. In fact, memory serves a quote from one La'el who told Joe Burrow that his "bodyguard" is here and he won't let anyone touch him.
Well, cool story. Burrow got sacked six times and was running of his life all day.
Two of those six sacks were from Parsons, who is casually on pace to get 34 sacks this season if he keeps this up. Ha, very funny, right? Thirty-four sacks in one season? Yeah, doesn't see possible.
But then ask yourself this: Could Parsons get two sacks like this every game? I mean, it feels like he's close on about seven or eight other plays throughout the game.
Getting two sacks doesn't seem that implausible for Parsons, mainly because he's just that dominant.
I'm not joking on this, and I don't think I was padding the stats to prove a point. But at one stretch in the third quarter, I counted six consecutive plays that were affected by Parsons.
Now, that doesn't mean the Cowboys had positive plays every time. Sometimes, Burrow avoided the rush from Parsons on the outside, was forced to step up in the pocket and he hit the tight end over the middle. But Parsons is 100 percent affecting the play, getting the quarterback to step up in the pocket with hopes the pass rush will be there on the inside.
But many time throughout this game, Parsons was affecting the play, and the Cowboys were benefiting, especially in the first half.
What makes him so unique, is the ability to not only rush from everywhere, but effective doing it. Sure, any player in the NFL can line up at different spots. Doesn't mean he's going to be good doing it.
Parsons rushed over the left tackle ,the right tackle both guards and of course, the center throughout this game. Every linemen the Bengals had got their dose of No. 11 in his face.
I remember seeing a clip from Tom Brady once when he played the Ravens several years ago. He wrote on his arm bad "Find 20 before every snap." That's the GOAT making sure he knew where Ed Reed was every single time he snapped the ball.
I can't imagine Joe Burrow, or any quarterback for that matter, not doing the same with Parsons.
You never know where he's going to line up and that is a huge advantage to the Cowboys. Let's also remember that it takes some versatility for the other guys – like Dante Fowler, Dorance Armstrong, Anthony Barr and others - to be able to move around as well. If Parsons is lining up all over the place, the same goes for these other players.
All in all, the Cowboys won this game because Maher made the big kick at the end, and Cooper Rush led the offense down there.
But Micah Parsons completely wrecked the game – even on plays that don't always stand out.
Best player on the field always gives you a chance. And he was all that and a little more on this day.