Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Micah Parsons proved on Sunday why he is the highest-rated defensive player in their roster. After the team announced they would not start defensive ends Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence on Sunday against LA, many believed the team would find outside help to temporarily make up for the loss in depth. However, Parsons became not only a temporary solution, but a solution that could evolve into a permanent position.
Parsons finished with two tackles, one sack and four quarterback hits in his first start at the defensive end. It seemed like every passing play, Parsons, prompted Justin Herbert to either release the ball early or come out of the pocket. Parsons has proven to be a disruptive force in what he says is the first time he’s seen major late game time since high school.
“Coach [Quinn] told me they were going to need me to push really hard this week, ”Parsons said. “I’m not going to turn down an opportunity to take the pitch.”
When asked how much he had to readjust to the position, he replied, “It was largely natural. Some people have had a long day there.
Parsons was excited about the opportunity this gave defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to open the playbook. Parsons played both as an inside and outside linebacker in the first week, so showing he can be a passer. Disruptor allows for more unique defensive setups for Dallas. Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Keanu Neal and Jayron Kearse all spent time in the box while Parsons focused on the edge.
“Handling the clashes and taking advantage of the looks they’ve achieved is what makes football teams great,” Parsons said. “My main state of mind is to be dominant. Every time I’m there I want to do a play. Whether I’m rushing the quarterback or stuffing the run, I want to be as dominant as possible. “
Parsons also answered any doubts about his inability to resist the physicality of a constant endgame.
“As a competitor I hate going off the pitch,” said Parsons. “I told the coach that I need to have some linebacker play when we change the defensive wing. I want to do everything. I kiss whatever they throw at me. The more I am in the field, the more I can help us win.