The NFL world recognizes linebacker Micah Parsons as a truly elite player and explains what makes him and Los Angeles Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald so special.
What opponents say about them
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles on Parsons: “He definitely qualifies as a game-wrecker. They use him inside. They use him outside. He can rush the passer from anywhere. He can blow up runs. He can cover. He does a lot of things; he causes a lot of problems. They cause a lot of mismatches for him. They get him in position where he’s on the back a lot, but he can beat linemen as well. He’s a true game-wrecker.”
Cowboys All-Pro right guard Zack Martin on Donald: “People ask me that all the time. He’s good at everything. He’s extremely powerful. He’s quick. He’s got obviously natural leverage. He’s a gamer. I mean, he’s just good at everything.”
Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott on Donald: “He’s obviously the best player in the NFL on the defensive side. You turn the tape on, and in the first three plays, you don’t have to go any further than that. You’re seeing him making an impact on the game and interrupting offensive rhythm, and you’re just trying to get a play run and he’s blowing it up.”
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford on Parsons: “Micah is a heck of a young player. He’s doing a great job in all the roles that they’re giving him, great motor. He’s got high-end skills, athletic ability, all of it. Really, really well-rounded, good football player.”
Rams head coach Sean McVay has prepared for his team for the traveling Dallas Cowboys fans to be the 12th man on Sunday.
Rams head coach Sean McVay said today that his team is practicing its silent counts and working through crowd noise issues with the expectation that a large number of Cowboys fans will make themselves heard at SoFi Stadium.
Noise from opposing fans has been an ongoing concern for McVay at SoFi Stadium. Before the NFC Championship Game in January, McVay urged Rams fans not to sell their tickets, as he was concerned that Rams fans would be outnumbered by 49ers fans. During the teams’ regular-season battle at SoFi Stadium, the visiting 49ers crowd forced the Rams to use silent counts on offense.
The Rams have been playing loud music during practices to get the offensive players ready for the loud noise that Cowboys fans are likely to make on Sunday.
Following a rash of injuries from last week, team promoted two veterans to the active roster on Saturday.
The Cowboys have elevated long-snapper Matt Overton and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins from the practice squad for Sunday’s game vs. the Rams .
Overton was elevated after starting LS Jake McQuaide suffered a torn triceps in the Cowboys 25-10 win over the Commanders last Sunday. McQuaide is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Watkins will replace nose tackle Quinton Bohanna if he is unable to play on Sunday. Watkins signed a one-year deal with Dallas over the offseason after collecting 32 tackles, a sack and an interception that he returned for a touchdown in the 2021-22 season.
After appearing on the injury report on Friday, running back Tony Pollard is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup.
Pollard missed Friday’s practice due to an illness and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Rams, Patrick Walker of the Cowboys’ official site reports.
The end-of-week addition to the injury report could set up a game-time decision ahead of the 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff Sunday, though Pollard shouldn’t be in danger of missing more than the one game because of an illness.
If Pollard isn’t available, Ezekiel Elliott likely would handle more than his usual 60-65 percent of snaps, with Rico Dowdle providing support off the bench.
Trevon Diggs’ explains how self-evaluation made him even better. - Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News
All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs takes a hard look in the mirror after reflecting on last season and the changes that he feels have improved his game.
“When I looked at my game from last year, I’d be so mad at myself because anything that I would give up, it was because of me,” Diggs said. “It was my fault. It wasn’t nothing special that the receiver did or anything like that. Always, it was my fault. A lot of things were my fault, basically. So it was never about the receiver. It was always about me.
“I knew if I could control what I can do, no receiver should be able to catch a pass. You know? That’s my mindset.”
Said Diggs: “Every year, every day, I’m going to get better. I just got to keep focusing on little things and just try to get better. Over time, it will all come together. I never want to set myself up to not get better at something.”
“I just feel like I’m playing faster,” Diggs said. “I’m reacting faster. Everything is starting to slow down. I’m starting to understand the game more. I feel my technique has gotten better. Just improving as an all-around corner. …
“Just doing the little things right. I know that if just I focus on the little things, everything is going to come to me. If I do everything right, at the end of the play, my ability will be able to take over the play, and that’s catching the ball.”
The rearranged Los Angeles offensive line will have its hands full trying to slow down the fearsome Dallas pass rush.
The Rams are accustomed to giving opposing offenses nightmare matchups with Donald often being double- and triple-teamed. Now they’re on the other side after spending the past week building a game plan for how to contain Parsons, a task that became more daunting after offensive lineman Coleman Shelton was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
The Rams (2-2) will start their fifth offensive line combination in five weeks, one of many reasons why Stafford and his offense have struggled to score points this season, especially in the red zone.
But before the Rams can worry about touchdowns and getting newcomer receiver Allen Robinson involved, they’ll need to ensure their protection plan will hold up against Parsons and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who would be the top pass rusher on most teams.
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