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Cowboys news: How Micah Parsons could improve in Year 2 of his NFL career

Plus other news from around the team.

Washington Football Team v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Mailbag: Where Can Micah Make A 2nd-Year Jump? - David Helman & Rob Phillips,

Micah Parsons exploded on the scene in year one, what does he need to do to take it to another level in his second season?

Usually with good NFL players you see a solid to great second-year jump. What would a great second-year jump look like for Parsons’ in both his stats and impact on the field? How much improvement do you see him having? — DARRYL CROSS / LARGO, FL

David: That’s a fun question, because an improvement on 2021 would be quite a sight to see. For me, that would probably mean that he has even more comfortability doing a variety of different things. I don’t need him to beat his rookie sack number, but hopefully he’s good enough rushing the passer to still notch 8-10 sacks, if not more. On top of that, it would be wonderful if he develops in coverage enough to finish with more pass breakups and plays on the ball. Good coverage linebackers like Fred Warner and Bobby Wagner have had seasons with 8, 9 or even 10 PBUs, for instance. So, to summarize, I think I’d like to see him round his game and become an even more complete playmaker than he already is.

Rob: It’s exciting to think about how much Parsons can grow as a pass rusher. What he did with a limited amount of reps there, and basically jumping into that role on the fly the second week of the season, is pretty remarkable. It doesn’t sound like the Cowboys want to drastically increase his snaps there. They want him to continue moving around and exploiting matchups. But I think he could make a huge jump in his pass-rushing skill and technique even if he ends up with fewer sacks. You know teams are spending this offseason figuring out how to block him as a blitzer and edge rusher, but he can still affect quarterbacks with consistent pressure from a variety of places.

Cowboys waive Hunter Niswander - Josh Alper, Pro Football Talk

With the re-signing of Bryan Anger, the writing was on the wall for the journeyman punter.

The Cowboys are down to one punter on their 90-man roster.

Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reports that the team has informed Hunter Niswander that he has been waived. Bryan Anger is now the only punter in Dallas.

Niswander punted 26 times in eight games for the Cowboys during the 2020 season. He averaged 47.2 yards per kick in those appearances and returned to compete with Anger last offseason. Niswander did some placekicking during the preseason while Greg Zuerlein was injured, but wound up on injured reserve after hurting his back and missed the whole season.

Anger re-signed with the team last month and Niswander will look for a spot where he has a better chance to win a punting job.

How does ESPN’s latest mock draft address Cowboys’ most pressing needs? - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

Every day there is a new mock draft being released, but does the latest one from ESPN check off all the necessary boxes?

In a recent 7-round mock draft from ESPN’s Jordan Reid (subscription required), Dallas is taking a bit of a different approach to their positional needs. While the opinions vary, there are four players who seem to be highly associated with the Cowboys these days: OT Kenyon Green, G Zion Johnson, WR Chris Olave, and WR Treylon Burks. Oddly, Reid’s mock has none of those names going to the Cowboys.

In this mock, both Johnson and Olave were already off the board by the time the 24th overall pick came around. Instead of taking Green, Reid had the Cowboys taking Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. Linderbaum is an excellent prospect who is often off the board in mock drafts before the Cowboys even get to him. However, given issues at guard, you’d think the Cowboys would take Green in this instance, especially since Linderbaum wasn’t an official visit.

Dallas could certainly use help at center, but would this pick make the most sense? Let’s take a look at all nine of the picks from Reid to give you an idea of what could potentially happen at the end of the month.

ESPN’s latest full 7-round mock draft has the Cowboys selecting Tyler Linderbaum in the first and addressing many positional needs

Cowboys Willing To Trade Up In Draft - Adam La Rose, Pro Football Rumors

Are we buying the fact the Cowboys are actually considering moving up in this year’s draft?

A number of teams have publicly expressed a willingness to trade down, especially near the top of the board, with respect to this month’s draft. One team that wouldn’t shy away from moving up, though, is the Cowboys.

“I would trade up in this draft… just going in as much as you can say about it, until you see what’s there and who’s on the other end of the line” said owner Jerry Jones (video link via the Athletic’s Jon Machota). “But I would trade up, since we’re down as low as we are in the first two or three rounds if we had a chance to and somebody that we had really coveted was sitting at the bottom … and we were able to trade up and get him.”

The Cowboys’ top pick is currently No. 24. They also own one selection in each of the second and third rounds, having added day three picks from the Browns as a result of the Amari Cooper trade. Another wideout to compliment CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup (and offset the loss of not only Cooper but also Cedrick Wilson) is a strong possibility.

Replacements for free agent departures such as Randy Gregory, La’el Collins and Connor Williams would also be logical targets for Dallas’ first few picks. In any event, the team will obviously be open to moving up to land a specific prospect – a contrast to most other teams’ views of this year’s deep, but not top-heavy class.

Back & Forth: No Changes At QB Position So Far - Nick Eatman,

The Cowboys QB room has remained remarkably stable this offseason.

The biggest thing that occurred regarding the quarterbacks sounded like a bigger deal than it probably was. Dak Prescott did undergo surgery on his left shoulder back in late February. He is not expected to miss much of the offseason conditioning program and OTA/minicamp practices. But the words “Dak” and “surgery” in the same sentence is enough to grab some headlines.

The Cowboys had some interest in adding a veteran quarterback in free agency, but not to the point of spending much. It could be a situation where the Cowboys wait until after the draft to bolster that position.

What’s Next:

Other than the aforementioned interest in signing a veteran, similar to what they did two years ago in adding Andy Dalton, the Cowboys probably won’t do much at this position.

Dak Prescott should be fine to participate in the majority of offseason work and for now, Cooper Rush is probably adequate at the backup spot, especially after his big win against Minnesota last season with Dak out with a calf injury.

Behind that, Will Grier and Ben DiNucci are still on the roster, both likely vying to compete with Rush for the backup spot.

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