There’s no player on the Cowboys roster more ready for this weekend than Micah Parsons. After losing the final week of his rookie season due to testing positive for COVID-19, Parsons attitude, mentality, and words to the Cowboys media are exactly what you want to hear from a young player entering the playoffs.
In his first practice back, Parsons got plenty of questions about the 49ers game, and how ready the Cowboys defense will be for San Francisco’s versatility and physicality. Here’s what he had to say.
Cowboys rookie LB Micah Parsons when told the 49ers like to play bully ball:— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 12, 2022
“I’m from Harrisburg where the bullies get bullied. … At some point, it’s gonna take someone to stand up and fight. I never backed down from a challenge. I would never say you can bully a lion. Ever.”
Words are one thing, actions are another. But his actions on this field have often backed up these comments. Even in games where the defense didn’t play well as a whole, Parsons did everything in his power to change football games. Parsons refuses to allow offenses to push him around, and he’s shown on multiple occasions the ability to put the defense on his back in tough situations.
Cowboys rookie LB/DE Micah Parsons on Dallas’ defensive game plan Sunday against the 49ers: “Obviously the key is to stop the run, and then let the monsters eat on third down.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 12, 2022
While the Cowboys will need to put pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo, Parsons reiterated the defensive game-plan going into the game, and that’s to focus on stopping the run and playing assignment sound football on early downs. If the Cowboys pass rushers want to wreak havoc on the 49ers in this football game, they’ll first need to find success on early downs, and that’s where Micah Parsons’ versatility comes into play. Likely getting some tough matchups on Sunday in George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and an extremely difficult San Francisco running game to defend, Parsons play at linebacker on first and second down will set up how much, and how successful, he and “the monsters” are on passing downs.
To that goal, Parsons even spent some time with a Cowboys great discussing playoff football.
When preparing for first NFL playoff game, Cowboys LB Micah Parsons had lunch Tuesday with Cowboys great DeMarcus Ware. “I got to talk to him about the preparation and what it takes, the mentality that comes with playoffs and things like that.” Got his mind right for 49ers.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 12, 2022
The Cowboys defense has played tremendously well this year, leading the NFL in takeaways, and second in total DVOA. Many players, and coaches, contributed to that but none more than Micah Parsons. With Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence missing a big chunk of the season, Parsons transitioned to a new position in the middle of the year, and made a case to win Defensive Player of the Year in doing so.
In this playoff run, plenty of responsibility will land on Micah Parsons shoulders again, and don’t be shocked if he takes it in stride and plays some of the best football of his young career in the 2021 NFL playoffs.