Micah Parsons is pumped for this season, already calling it ‘a year to remember’.
Coach Mike McCarthy added: “He’s going to compete at everything he does. That’s just the way he’s wired. Obviously with the athletic and physical gifts that he has, but his drive and competitive spirit is as good as I’ve seen in a young player.”
McCarthy saw Clay Matthews’ development with the Green Bay Packers and had Julius Peppers close to the end of the future Hall of Famer’s career in Green Bay. He said Parsons’ next jump is to make those around him better.
“Individually, he will always be extremely impactful, and that’s why it’s important for us to really stay focused on creating as many of those opportunities for him,” McCarthy said. “And I think that’s the whole conversation of where he’s going to line up. And I’m just telling you from an offensive perspective, when you line up a premier player at the same spot, it’s easier to apply help there.”
Parsons half-jokingly said he would play eight positions in 2023, all across the front seven and even in some coverage.
“I’m telling you, I’m going to do it all,” Parsons said. “It’s going to be a year to remember for sure.”
Malik Davis has been a little overlooked this offseason, but not at minicamp.
Going into year two with a little bit of a different look to the position room, Davis has settled in and positioned his focus on his improvement both on and off the field.
“I’d say just understanding,” Davis said on what he’s trying to improve on the most in 2023. “When I’m going out, just knowing what’s gonna happen before the ball snaps. That’s what I want to focus on this offseason.”
The understanding is something that head coach Mike McCarthy has seen crystal clearly from Davis so far this offseason as he has praised the second-year jump that the Florida product has been able to make.
“He has done an excellent job, particularly in the classroom,” McCarthy said. “You can see his confidence and his understanding. I think the running backs as a whole have been really challenged this spring and the running backs have handled it extremely well. I’m very pleased with the running back group and Malik.”
The ability to make an impact has increased during OTAs and minicamp with Tony Pollard still sidelined with his leg injury, as Davis has taken a large amount of first-team reps to grow even more comfortable with the offense and the players around.
The Cowboys are hoping Matt Waletzko is the answer to the depth issue on the offensive line.
Waletzko rarely found the field as a rookie with only three games of experience and a shoulder injury ending his debut campaign. An injury that limited his production to just one offensive snap and 11 special teams snaps in 2022.
“You really don’t know until you get in there and see what their capabilities are,” Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday. “He didn’t miss a workout session with the rehab, he put in a tremendous amount of extra time and energy into the shoulder recovery.”
Since being cleared for action in May, Waletzko has rotated in with his normal tackle position but also welcomed the challenge of playing inside. Taking significant reps at left guard and finding his way on the field for extra snaps in practices.
Listed at 6-foot-7 and 305 pounds, the North Dakota product doesn’t necessarily look like the prototypical offensive guard. In fact, this is the first action on the interior offensive line in his football career.
“You watch him come out of college,” McCarthy added. “You see this guy has a little better feet than we probably realized. Then obviously playing tackle with his length, when he walks in the door it’s easy to think this guy is going to be a left or right tackle the rest of his career. He’s really shown the ability to bend inside.”
Hot Takes, Predictions for Cowboys’ Most Impactful Free-Agent Signings - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report
A quick rundown on some Cowboys free agent signings.
The Cowboys recently released pass-rusher Takkarist McKinley after initially re-signing him to a one-year deal. It’s not a stretch to think they could follow suit with Dante Fowler Jr., who was re-signed on a one-year, $3 million deal in free agency.
Dallas is fairly loaded with pass-rushers. The rotation includes two-time All-Pro Micah Parsons, who is bulking up and converting to a full-time edge-rusher this offseason. It also includes three-time Pro Bowler Demarcus Lawrence, 2022 second-round pick Sam Williams, Dorance Armstrong and rookie fourth-round pick Viliami Fehoko Jr.
If Williams and Fehoko show enough in training camp, a depth player such as Fowler could be on the way out.
The prediction here, though, is that the 28-year-old sticks and again makes a defensive impact. He had six sacks and 21 quarterback pressures in 2022 despite playing only 30 percent of the defensive snaps. That’s a solid rate for a rotational rusher.
Williams had four sacks as a rookie and may be ready to take on a bigger role, but Fehoko is unproven. Expect Fowler to stick as a valuable depth piece even if he can’t be considered a franchise building block.
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