Giving out the game ball this week for the Cowboys win over the Chargers is actually a tough exercise. There were several candidates for the honor, and we’ll go ahead and go through some of those players. But in the end, the game ball goes to Micah Parsons. We’ll detail why at the end.
We also discussed all of these ideas and plenty more in Monday’s edition of CowboysCast on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network wherever you get your podcasts (plus leave a rating and write a review!) so you don’t miss any of our episodes.
The Cowboys kicker has gone from zero to hero. After being thrashed for his performance in Week 1 which might have cost the team a win, he clutched it up in Week 2. His 56-yard bomb on the final play of the game was a nervy boot that sealed the deal. Definitely worthy of consideration.
The Cowboys RB2 turned into RB1 for the night as he ran for 109 yards on 13 carries for an insane 8.4 yards average per carry. He also chipped in 31 yards on three catches and scored a touchdown on an end around. Just a brilliant night from the Cowboys explosive backup running back, and he is nominated for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week. Kellen Moore has to continue to get him involved in the offense on a weekly basis.
Just phenomenal. Thrust into the starting defensive end role in mid-week after the injury to DeMarcus Lawrence, Parsons nailed it. Imagine a rookie in the NFL being asked to switch positions in the middle of the week, then going out and getting a sack that helped win the game (yes, the refs helped on that one). He also had four QB hits, eight pressures, and was directly responsible for a holding call on the Chargers. He basically harassed Justin Herbert all game.
Parsons played 55% of the defensive snaps during the game. He was used, according to PFF, 27 times in pass rush, nine times for rush defense, and three times in coverage. His pass rush grade for the game was an elite 90.8. His overall grade was 89.9, easily the highest rated Cowboys defender. If you compare his pass rush grade to the other ones from Sunday, he ranked second to only Aaron Donald for defenders who had more than 20 pass rush attempts. The rest of his PFF numbers were equally insane.
Yes, it was just one game, and a lot of his attempts came against a backup right tackle, but still, the Cowboys need to give serious consideration as to whether they want Parsons to be an off-ball linebacker, or a pass-rush defensive end for his long-term career. It’s hard to find guys who can pressure the passer like Parsons did on Sunday. Bookending him with DeMarcus Lawrence for the long-term has to be considered. This year may see him switch between the two positions based on need, but if he continues on this trajectory, the money position could win out in the long-term, and that’s defensive end.
This may be a little over the top, but Charles Woodson highlights the fact that Parsons debut at defensive end was stunning.
The Cowboys were desperate for a pass rush on Justin Herbert, and Parsons provided it.