Who would you take - Micah Parsons versus Nick Bosa?
The consensus is Bosa, who secured NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors after an 18½-sack season. “He finds a way to make winning, game-changing plays seemingly every week,” an NFC exec said.
For the sake of roster building, Parsons has an edge in a few areas: He is younger (24, while Bosa is 25), has a more affordable contract (entering the third year of his rookie deal, while Bosa is holding out for an extension) and might have the higher ceiling/trajectory following two All-Pro first-team selections and back-to-back second-place finishes in the Defensive Player of the Year race through just two seasons.
“As a pass-rusher and overall chess piece, I could see Parsons,” an AFC personnel evaluator said. “But Bosa is probably better against the run, and Bosa will probably hold up a little better. Because of Micah’s background as a linebacker, he could have durability issues as a full-time rusher.”
It’s been a long road for Juanyeh Thoams.
For safety Juanyeh Thomas, making the 53-cut on Tuesday was a huge achievement that was over a year in the making for the 2022 undrafted free agent out of Georgia Tech.
After a big training camp and preseason that saw him be elite in coverage and open-field tackling along with intercepting Trevor Lawrence, Thomas’ play put him deep in the conversation to make the final roster and it was cemented with Tuesday’s decision to keep him in the building.
“Earlier, I had talked to my mom and it was very emotional on both ends,” Thomas said. “She said she knew this day was gonna come, that she was proud of me and that she loved me. It’s something I’ve been working very hard for for the past year. I’m just happy and ready to work.”
Thomas learned the news in a team meeting on Tuesday morning.
“They told me and I had smiles,” he said. “It was the moment I had been waiting on. It hasn’t hit me yet because I’m a ballplayer and I’m just ready to work, but it’ll probably hit me when I get back home.”
Tyron Smith’s health is a huge variable for the Cowboys.
Through it all, Tyron Smith does not believe he is jinxed.
The Dallas Cowboys’ eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle has missed 33 games in the past three seasons. A neck injury in 2020 limited him to two games. A high ankle sprain in 2021 and bout with COVID-19 cost him six games. Then there was last year, when he tore his left hamstring off the bone during training camp; that required surgery and forced him to miss 13 games.
“I don’t even think that way,” Smith said. “Waste of energy.”
The Cowboys are 11 days away from opening the season against the New York Giants, and the best news for coach Mike McCarthy, quarterback Dak Prescott and everybody associated with the Cowboys is that Smith is healthy.
If Smith has expressed any frustration about the spate of injuries, he has kept it to himself.
“Tyron hasn’t changed from the moment I’ve gotten here,” said All-Pro right guard Zack Martin, Smith’s teammate since 2014. “He’s all business all the time, come into work every day, and that hasn’t changed.”
The latest on the roster.
The Cowboys placed cornerback Nahshon Wright and offensive tackle Matt Waletzko on injured reserve/designated return.
Wright, who has a high ankle sprain, and Waletzko, who has a shoulder injury, will have to miss at least four games before returning.
The Cowboys replaced them on the 53-player roster with offensive lineman Chuma Edoga and long snapper Trent Sieg. Edoga, who has worked his way back from a knee injury, could have the swing tackle job in Week 1.
The team announced Monday that veteran cornerback C.J. Goodwin, a core special teams player, would return Tuesday. He did but on the practice squad instead of the active roster.
Lewis' injury was quite a bit more severe than anticipated, and the recovery wasn't easy.
Lewis has suffered injury before, but never of this magnitude.
It was so devastating that it dragged his mental health through the mud, to the point where he couldn't bring himself to reply to texts from coaches and players who were hoping to check in on him. But in one of the most admirable acts you'll see from an organization, as defensive coordinator Dan Quinn noted at training camp in Oxnard, the coaching staff and players didn't take the silence from Lewis as lack of commitment to the recovery that lay before him.
Instead, they took it for what it actually was: a heartbroken playmaker forced to the sideline.
And so they leaped into action — literally showing up at Lewis' front door to let him know he's still a huge part of the team, and how badly they wanted him to recover and return to the field.
That was a major turning point in his rehabilitation, and a key reason he finished ahead of schedule.
"It made all the difference, honestly," he admitted. "When I was down, all of the coaches came to see me — [Dan Quinn], coach Al [Harris], coach [Joe] Whitt — those guys came to see me and it just made all the difference. To see they were fighting for me made it easier to go out there and perform."
Thanks to the passionate levels of support from his coaches and teammates, Lewis never gave up on the possibility of climbing back from a shattered foot.
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