One of the things that we will all be watching closely when the Dallas Cowboys begin practices out in Oxnard, California is just what rookie linebacker Micah Parsons looks like. Attention always follows the team’s first-round pick, but Parsons happens to play right in the middle of where the Cowboys were disastrous for so much of last season. Plenty of effort and resources have been thrown at fixing this team’s defense in 2021, and however good Parsons is in year one will likely go a long way at justifying the last few months.
It is so difficult/fun to imagine where Parsons is going to most help the defense because his athleticism offers the team a lot of different options. Obviously he can roam around and play like a traditional linebacker, but he also was quite the pass rusher while at Penn State. This blend of versatility is one that seemingly led one NFL analyst to compare him to one of the game’s current great linebackers in Von Miller.
Von Miller has been an elite outside linebacker throughout his career, one that saw him take home Super Bowl 50 honors. Parsons obviously plays in the middle of the defense so the comparison isn’t exactly apples to apples, if you watch the clip, Tom Pelissero was talking more about overall athletic comparisons and Parsons’ ability to rush the quarterback from a general standpoint.
Ideally, Parsons will demonstrate the athleticism that led to his draft stock being so high on a weekly basis in a Cowboys uniform. He is understandably excited for his NFL journey to formally begin out at training camp this week.
The Cowboys have had a number of flashes at the linebacker spot recently in Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. Sean Lee was a sustainably great player at the position (outside of injury), but as we all know he retired this offseason.
Dallas is long overdue to have a generational talent show up and stick around on defense. Here’s hoping that Micah Parsons is that player.