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NFL Draft: Micah Parsons is a reminder that anything can happen as a result of the first round

Remember to take a deep breath on Thursday night.

2021 NFL Draft Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Anything can happen during the NFL Draft. One year ago we were confident that the Dallas Cowboys were going to be able to land one of the group’s top cornerbacks in Patrick Surtain or Jaycee Horn. It felt inevitable that one of them would be patrolling the team’s secondary opposite of Trevon Diggs (who’s sophomore season had yet blossom). Nobody was cashing checks just yet, but it felt pretty impossible for any other outcome to really happen.

Horn went to the Carolina Panthers at number eight and Surtain went to the Denver Broncos one pick later. This left the Cowboys stuck between a rock and a hard place at 10 overall, and needless to say a lot of people were starting to panic that the draft was doomed.

Micah Parsons is a reminder that anything can happen as a result of the first round

In the lead-up to the 2022 NFL Draft communities all across SB Nation are examining some takes that they got wrong, nothing gives more examples of this than the draft after all.

There were a lot of people (not everyone, just a lot of people) who did not want Micah Parsons on the Cowboys. When Dallas traded back with the Philadelphia Eagles for them to take DeVonta Smith and when the New York Giants moved back with the Chicago Bears to send Justin Fields to the Windy City, the consensus among many was that it was suddenly time to draft Rashawn Slater to strengthen the offensive line.

Part of what made the Parsons pick so unappealing on paper was his evaluation as an off-ball linebacker. Parsons proved to be the exception to all rules throughout his rookie season, and if we had known what his impact would be then we obviously wouldn’t have felt that way, but the reality if the situation is that spending a premium resource like what was effectively a top 10 pick at that spot isn’t the wisest course of action.

Thankfully Parsons did prove to be extraordinarily different than any sort of player who came before him as he almost single-handedly resuscitated the team’s defense to the point that it became one of the league’s better units (the aforementioned Trevon Diggs certainly helped). It was a pick that many were thrilled to be ‘wrong’ about which should inspire optimism in Thursday night’s selections that what may feel like a misstep in the moment could actually be the beginning of an incredible journey.

The Cowboys could do something that we love on Thursday night or they could do something that we hate. All picks need time to tell the story, let’s do our best to give this one some to work.