‘Never getting that back’: Cowboys star Micah Parsons trades jabs with veteran DE DeMarcus Lawrence - Jori Epstein, USA Today
A sack battle? Yes, please.
Micah Parsons understands DeMarcus Lawrence’s goal.
The reigning defensive rookie of the year aspires, respectfully, to thwart it.
Healthy competition across the Dallas Cowboys locker room abounds.
“Become the sack leader again,” Lawrence explained his objective entering Year 9 of his career. “I let a rookie show me up last year. Shout out to my boy Micah. But (I want to) restate my dominance. Let everybody know that I’m coming, how I feel and the type of respect I’m going to demand when I step on that field.”
Most of that vision, to be fair, sits well with Parsons. The Cowboys’ 2021 first-round selection wants the 30-year-old Lawrence to capitalize on a healthy and productive campaign in Year 2 of coordinator Dan Quinn’s system. Parsons also wants for Lawrence to enjoy the game and thrive.
But after Parsons notched 13 sacks despite not pass-rushing full time, he does not plan to concede the sack leadership.
“I want D-Law to step up, I want him to be who he is, I’m not taking that away from him,” Parsons said Thursday after the Cowboys’ latest OTA practice. “But I’m sorry to tell him he’s never getting that (the sack lead) back. I want him to get all the enjoyment that he possibly can, feed his head so he can be a 10-sack guy.
“But if 10’s the number, I’m going for 20.”
Speaking of Micah Parsons...
It’s understandable why Parsons might need to get the blood flowing, giving everything he’s doing these days. In a typical Cowboys practice, it’s common to see the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year bop from position group to position group, making sure to hone his skills as both a linebacker and a pass rusher.
And it’s not just on-field work. As the Cowboys install their schemes with an eye on training camp, Parsons is splitting his days between the two different meeting rooms, making sure to maximize his time spent on each task.
“It’s going to be a little different. It’s going to be more challenging. But I never back down from a challenge,” Parsons said. “The good ones, the great ones, just find a way. No matter what comes at me. I know things are going to be frustrating, but I’ve got to find a way to get home. I’ve got to find a way to make plays because that’s what gets me going.”
This won’t be the first time the Cowboys’ coaching staff has been presented with unique skillsets to finetune. Asked about Parsons’ adaptability, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy noted his experience with Clay Matthews, who flopped between edge rusher and inside linebacker en route to six Pro Bowls with the Green Bay Packers.
“I thought it served him well as far as creating more opportunities for matchups,” McCarthy said. “But what I really found out is how much it benefited our defense. You definitely saw that last year with Micah.”
The people who played with and coached Marion Barber remember him.
It’s been 12 years since Cowboys running back coach Skip Peete coached Marion Barber III, but to this day Peete shows players film of Barber for tips on how to play the position in the NFL.
“Every single season,” Peete said. “Matter of fact we showed it two weeks ago, talking about pass protection, talking about setting, shooting your hands, striking with a purpose, the ability to finish runs, lowering your pads, exploding through the defender. I utilize him as a model after time I talk about physical play, physical runs and finishing runs.”
Barber, who played six seasons for the Cowboys from 2005-10, passed away Wednesday at the age of 38. Frisco police reportedly had performed a welfare check at Barber’s home. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
“The guy showed up every day, had a smile on his face, came to work,” Peete said. “If I could show anybody a model and a role to develop a running back to play in this league, it would definitely be Marion. The guy came to work every day, practiced hard every day, did a great job in the meetings every day. Obviously his name was “Barbarian” as a player. Very physical player as a runner and as a protector and had the ability to run routes out of the backfield. Very unique in that way.”
Jason Garrett is trying to follow a Cowboys tradition - as a sports announcer.
NBC is eyeing Jason Garrett, the former Cowboys head coach and Giants offensive coordinator, to replace Drew Brees as the game analyst on Notre Dame football and possibly on its prime time NFL pregame studio show, “Football Night in America,” The Post has learned.
Garrett, 56, is already working with NBC on its USFL coverage. He has been teamed with Jac Collinsworth, who could be Garrett’s partner on the Fighting Irish games, according to sources.
NBC declined to comment. Garrett did not immediately return messages.
Brees teamed with Mike Tirico last year to call Notre Dame, while also calling two NFL games and working as part of the Sunday night studio show. Tirico has been promoted to be the play-by-play voice of “Sunday Night Football” in place of Al Michaels.
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