We all know Micah Parsons is a weapon. Wherever he is lined up, offenses are certainly aware of number 11. With the news this week that Parsons is readying for a full-time switch to defensive end, the Cowboys shouldn’t fully end his time playing linebacker. They should keep giving offensive coordinators the massive task of trying to figure out how to stop Parsons from wreaking havoc at multiple defensive spots.
We discussed this idea on the latest episode of 1st and 10 on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Parson’s ability to consistently pressure the quarterback and disrupt the timing of the opposing team’s offense results in teams making mistakes and a more focused approach at the defensive end position makes sense for him and his future production. While we understand in recent years, the NFL has become increasingly focused on the passing game, it makes the role of the defensive end even more important. Moving a player of Parsons’ caliber to play the position officially can be understood and is the right move for the organization. A great defensive end can not only live in the backfield on running plays, but also has the ability to disrupt the opposing team’s passing game at a consistent level. Having the ability that Parsons has is obviously incredibly valuable to a defense.
Micah. Parsons. just. did. that. #DALvsLAR pic.twitter.com/A6gw9kOwFa— NFL (@NFL) October 9, 2022
Where the Cowboys should be selective in the full-time switch with Parsons is that he is a versatile and dynamic player who has made a significant impact on the Dallas Cowboys defense since entering the league from multiple spots. He has shown the speed, strength, and agility to rush the quarterback from the edge as well as blitz from the middle of the field, and proven to be an excellent coverage linebacker. He can drop and defend against the pass, as well as defend the run from the linebacker spot, and is not only the best pass rusher on the team, but when he goes to the second level he is the best linebacker as well.
Parsons’ versatility allows the Cowboys to use him in a variety of ways which will make it difficult for opposing offenses to game plan against. While he is switching positions by name, his time as a linebacker shouldn’t be over either purely because of the chess piece factor he brings to this defense.
Cowboys DE Micah Parsons on adding good weight this offseason pic.twitter.com/tg1h95O7Hx— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 4, 2023
Parsons ability to make plays is exceptional. He has a great nose for the ball and a high football IQ which allows him to read and react to plays quickly. Dan Quinn is able to use him as a free roamer all over the field, and that is why he shouldn’t just stick his hand in the ground and rush from one side of the defense. Parsons’ ability to make plays from multiple spots is just too big of an asset to this Cowboys defense to keep him in one place. He can stop the run, rush the passer, and defend against the pass, which makes him a triple threat on the field. While he can cause the most damage as an end on obvious passing downs, having him in the middle of a defense throughout a series can put offenses in a real bind when it comes to scheming for him.
Beyond the production, the wear and tear that is put on a full time defensive end is much different than at linebacker, and that is why as a result, he is aiming to put on more mass in preparation for the switch. The Cowboys could use Parsons in other ways such as the linebacker spot, to limit the beating he takes game to game, and while it’s not a fool proof plan that will keep him completely absolved of collisions, it may be a way to control damage for a series or two.
Micah Parsons just lined up at cornerback and made the play @MicahhParsons11— NFL (@NFL) December 19, 2021
: #DALvsNYG on FOX
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/BgWhKvSixV
Parsons’ versatility makes the Cowboys defense what it is. Quinn is able to do so many things with his unit because of the way he can deploy Parsons, and it’s hard to believe that he will be just a defensive end going forward as a result. With his speed, strength, and agility, Parsons helps the Cowboys to bring their pass rush to another level while being a freak athlete as an off-the-ball linebacker in run defense.
Micah Parsons has the potential to be one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, if he isn’t already. However, his ability to play multiple positions on the defense, make plays, and provide leadership is invaluable to the Cowboys. With Parsons on the field, the Cowboys defense is one of the best in the league. Because of his unique skill set, just where that may be should still be the offense’s problem to figure out.