Heading into his second NFL season, Micah Parsons holds the fourth-best odds to win the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) award.
Here’s how the top five rounds out, per DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Myles Garrett (+700)
- T.J. Watt (+700)
- Aaron Donald (+750)
- Micah Parsons (+1,000)
- Nick Bosa (+1,500)
Parsons took the league by storm after going 12th overall in the 2021 draft. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native was the Defensive Rookie of the Year and placed second in DPOY voting, losing out to T.J. Watt.
Parson’s also came close to making NFL history. His 13 sacks were just 1.5 short of the all-time rookie record set by Jevon Kearse in 1999.
Considering Parsons placed second in DPOY voting just a season ago, is DraftKings undervaluing him by placing the fourth-best odds on him to take the crown in 2022? Here’s everything to consider before placing your wagers before Dallas’ season kicks-off on Sept. 11th:
Parsons is set up for success
Dallas had one of the NFL’s top defenses in 2021. They allowed just 21 points per game, the seventh-best mark in the league. The biggest offseason departure from the defense was Randy Gregory, but the Cowboys return a majority of their starters and made other acquisitions that should cover that loss.
DeMarcus Lawrence is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2021 season where he played in only seven games and posted three sacks. But he’s back and fully recovered from the foot injury that limited him last year. If Lawrence steps ups, it gives offenses another player to worry about, which would lead to more one-on-one opportunities for Parsons.
Trevon Diggs will be looking to top his 11 interception season from 2021, in which he also earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors. Having Diggs patrol the secondary forces QBs to think before letting passes fly, and that extra bit of time can be just enough for Parsons to wreak havoc on opposing passers.
Earlier this month, Dallas signed free agent linebacker Anthony Barr following a seven-year run with the Minnesota Vikings. The 30-year-old is a strong pass rusher, run stopper and can drop in coverage. Having Barr will allow Parsons to spend more time on the defensive line rushing the QB.
The Cowboys are looking forward to the return of Jabril Cox, who was a fourth round draft pick in 2021 following an impressive season at LSU. Cox wasn’t in line to get much playing time behind linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, but a midseason knee injury took him off the field entirely.
When drafted, Jerry Jones had visions of Cox pairing well with Parsons, forming a young and dominant linebacking core. Now that Cox is healthy, he could earn more playing time and begin forming chemistry with Parsons.
These are just a few of the defensive pieces Dallas has that makes Parsons’ job easier, and could lead him to a potential DPOY season.
Pass-rushers winning DPOY is always a safe bet
In recent years, a majority of the DPOY awards have gone to players that rush the QB. Since 2010, nine of the 12 players who have won the award are defensive linemen or linebackers that posted hefty sack numbers.
DraftKings must recognize this, too, since nine of the 10 players with the best odds to win the award are sack artists. The odd player out is Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, who is more known for flying around the field making plays on the ball.