There wasn’t a whole lot to enjoy in the Cowboys’ disappointing loss to the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. However, as has been the case for seemingly every game this year, Micah Parsons continued to be a shining star for Dallas.
Parsons had yet another big game, even though it came in a loss, and was part of an overall solid showing for the Cowboys defense. The rest of the Cowboys’ rookie class, however, can’t quite say the same this time around.
Micah Parsons, LB
We’re beginning to sound like a broken record, but Micah Parsons is incredible. Every week it seems like he does something more to cement his runaway lead with the Defensive Rookie of the Year vote. Honestly, at this point the discussion should be more about his candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year. He’s been that good.
Parsons saw a lot of use on the line of scrimmage as a pass rusher this week, as Dan Quinn did what every other defensive coordinator in the NFL has done this year by not blitzing Patrick Mahomes. It worked in containing Mahomes, and it also worked in getting Parsons several huge moments. He finished the day with two sacks, one of which resulted in a fumble recovery for the Cowboys, and three hits on Mahomes. He also hit a high watermark for pressures in a single game:
Micah Parsons has 12 pressures today, per @ESPNStatsInfo.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) November 22, 2021
That's the most by a player in a single game, as tracked by ESPN, since 2019 -- Nick Bosa and J.J. Watt each had a game with 12 that year.
That is, uh, quite good. There is a cost in the linebacking corps for moving Parsons to defensive end, even though it made sense for this matchup. And for what it’s worth, Parsons made clear his opinion on whether or not he should make a full-time move to playing EDGE:
Cowboys LB/DE Micah Parsons on his response to anyone who believes who should stay at DE full-time: “That just limits …what I can do. …I think Q and George and AD are doing a really good job of playing to my strengths.” A versatile chess piece.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 22, 2021
Kelvin Joseph, CB
Kelvin Joseph was inactive this week and did not travel with the team for a non-injury related personal reason. With a quick turnaround for the next game, it’s unclear if he’ll return to the team by then.
He’s dealing with a loss of a family member. https://t.co/W6DF4ZAgz3— BryanBroaddus (@BryanBroaddus) November 21, 2021
Osa Odighizuwa, iDL
The Chiefs entered the game with their interior offensive line as a strong point, which is why most of the Cowboys’ pass rush success happened on the edges against two tackles who have struggled this year. So it wasn’t too terribly surprising to see Osa Odighizuwa have a fairly quiet day, registering two tackles and not making much noise in the pass rush.
However, it is somewhat concerning that he hasn’t been heard from much each of the last two weeks, and faded after a strong start against Denver before then too. It’s possible that he’s hitting a rookie wall, as Odighizuwa has had to play significantly more snaps than the team initially envisioned for him this year and his stamina was a question mark coming out of UCLA. It could also just be a minor slump that Odighizuwa will break out of, but it’s something to monitor.
Chauncey Golston, EDGE
If Odighizuwa had a quiet day, Chauncey Golston one-upped him in terms of not contributing much. He wasn’t necessarily bad, although Golston did exhibit some troubles setting the edge like he did against Denver. But Golston just failed to make any real impact, something that’s been uncharacteristic of the rookie.
His biggest impact came on an unnecessary roughness penalty in the second half, which gave the Chiefs a free first down. It wasn’t a back-breaking penalty, although Mike McCarthy took issue with the officials for calling it. But Golston is one of many Cowboys players who will look to rebound on Thanksgiving.
Nahshon Wright, CB
After having such a nice redemption story last week with his touchdown on the blocked punt, Nahshon Wright was inactive this week with a hamstring injury.
Jabril Cox, LB
Jabril Cox is on the injured reserve with a torn ACL.
Josh Ball, OT
Josh Ball is on the injured reserve.
Simi Fehoko, WR
Simi Fehoko remained inactive for this game despite the Cowboys being down Amari Cooper. CeeDee Lamb sustained a concussion that kept him out for the second half, so if he’s not ready to go by Thursday then Fehoko may get to suit up.
Quinton Bohanna, iDL
Quinton Bohanna was a surprise inactive last week, but it doesn’t seem to have been the start of any trend. He was active against Kansas City, despite the Chiefs not exactly being a team that runs the ball much. Bohanna did his job of plugging up the middle on early run downs and recorded a tackle on the day in his limited action.
Israel Mukuamu, S
Israel Mukuamu was inactive this week.
Matt Farniok, OG
Since the Cowboys’ only points Sunday came by way of field goals, and Matt Farniok was once again getting all of snaps blocking for Greg Zuerlein kick attempts, we can factually say that the Cowboys scored on 100% of Farniok’s snaps. Few players, let alone rookies, can claim that. Not that they would, but it’s something for the rookie.