The New England Patriots are gearing up for a Week 4 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, and they will have to deal with arguably the best defensive player in the league in Micah Parsons. The linebacker has established himself as a legitimate superstar in the league and through his first two years is on a Hall of Fame trajectory. He's posted back-to-back seasons of at least 13 sacks and is off to a hot start in 2023 with four sacks through three games. 

Parsons' start to this season and his impact on Dallas' hopes of being a Super Bowl contender have him not only in just the Defensive Player of the Year conversation but MVP of the entire league. Of course, a defensive player hasn't won MVP since Lawrence Taylor did it back in 1986. Back then, he was coached by Bill Belichick, who was serving as the Giants defensive coordinator and saw the bulk of Lawrence's career. 

With that lineage to Taylor and folks -- including CBS Sports' lead play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz -- putting Parsons in the same breath as Taylor, Belichick is as good of a resource as you can tap into when trying to make those comparisons. Earlier this week during his weekly interview with WEEI, the Patriots head coach said Parsons' physical traits and athleticism are "along the lines of a Taylor." 

While that is certainly a big compliment on the part of Belichick, he made sure to note Wednesday that no player is above Taylor when again asked about Parsons. 

"I would just say I wouldn't put anybody ahead of Lawrence Taylor, period," said Belichick. 

"Maybe I'm prejudiced, he continued. "but I saw that guy every day for over a decade and he tilted the field for a decade. Until somebody does that, and there's a lot of great players. I'm not taking anything away from anybody else. There's a lot of great players that have been in this league, that are in this league, but personally, I'm not putting anybody ahead of Lawrence Taylor. Not yet." 

Belichick is right to point out just how dominant Taylor was and for how long. He was an All-Pro-caliber player for 10 consecutive seasons from 1981 to 1990 and was the centerpiece for two Super Bowl championships for New York. While Parsons may be on a trajectory that could one day have him in a conversation with Taylor, he'll actually need to keep his play up for many years to come.