It was immediately clear in 2021 that Micah Parsons was going to be a special player for the Dallas Cowboys. He’s carried that same impact over into his second season, but Parsons isn’t just excelling on the field. Parsons quickly become one of the team’s vocal leaders and even a star in the community.
With eight sacks already this year and other great plays to his name, Parsons remains on the short list of the NFL’s most impactful individuals. While his effectiveness has been slowed a bit lately by shoulder and ankle injuries, he still has his moments in almost every game.
The young lion does a lot of roaring, endearing himself to fans with his aggressive comments going back to the 2021 Hard Knocks, the Cowboys’ own Sounds From the Sideline video series, and other interviews. It would get old quickly if Parsons didn’t back it up on the field, but so far he has done his part to maintain credibility.
This week, Dallas is reeling from an embarrassing loss in Green Bay. In a rare occurrence, Parsons had a very quiet game against the Packers in what felt like a total no-show by the Cowboys’ defense. But in a show of his maturity, he isn’t making any excuses.
Parsons put it on the defense in the immediate aftermath of the loss:
Micah Parsons: “Until we (put) out this fire, we’re gonna keep seeing it. If people want to keep doing their own thing, we’re gonna deal with this all year. We have to be accountable. We have to stay in our gaps, gotta stop the run. Until we do that, it’s gonna be a long year.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 14, 2022
Cowboys LB Micah Parsons on poor run defense: "We've just got to be accountable. ...It's going to keep happening until we stop it. Period. ...Until we put this flame out of this running the ball stuff, we're never going to be as good as we need to be. Period."— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 14, 2022
The Cowboys’ issues against the run are well-documented now. And while we generally focus on Parsons’ work as a pass rusher, he’s also been culpable in Dallas’ inability to stop opposing ball carriers. With mounting injuries at linebacker, the Cowboys have had to use him more in his official role lately.
Several days later, Parsons doesn’t seem to have cooled off one bit.
#Cowboys LB/DE Micah Parsons: ““I'm looking at this Vikings' week. The Packers' [game] we learned and we grew. It won't happen again though. If Dak [Prescott] goes out there and gives me that lead again, I promise we ain't going to do that again.” pic.twitter.com/e9EFyQiLAW— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) November 18, 2022
After all those years of Jason Garrett’s tropes and clichés following bad losses, which trickled down to his roster, someone calling it like it is refreshing. While the offense certainly contributed to Dallas’ loss in Green Bay, the usual “we all have to play better” rhetoric is tired.
If Parsons could do it all then the Cowboys wouldn’t have three losses. It’s a nice sentiment and one that hopefully helps set the pace for his teammates, but they have to do their part to make sure Dallas gets back on track this Sunday against the 8-1 Vikings.
We’ll see what impact Parsons has on the field in Minnesota. But he’s already been busy off of it, showing another side of his emerging leadership as part of the Cowboys organization.
Cowboys LB Micah Parsons organized a giveaway today that included 1,000 turkeys being distributed to local families in need. He provided and pooled together the resources, and Salvation Army helped connect with community. Family and friends, including DT Osa Odighizuwa, on hand. pic.twitter.com/VnxxlDUlHr— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 18, 2022
This is hardly surprising to anyone who follows Parsons on social media. His generosity and altruism have shown up in various ways since he entered the league. And while Parsons is hardly the only Cowboy doing charitable works now or throughout the year, it’s nice to see a young superstar immediately embracing this side of celebrity.
There are many types of leaders. Some do it by example or by rousing speeches. The best tend to use both, and Micah Parsons has so far been that kind of presence for the Cowboys. Nobody wants a bounce-back performance this week more than Parsons, and you know he’ll give everything he’s got to make it happen.
Let’s hope his teammates are ready to do the same.