Dallas Cowboys: 3 coaching adjustments that saved week two

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Cowboys Pass-Rush

Micah Parsons, EDGE

The Dallas Cowboys sustained two enormous blows to their pass rush this week. First, Randy Gregory (RDE) popped positive for COVID and was placed on the RESERVE/COVID list, then DeMarcus Lawrence broke his foot, ruling him out for the next two months.

With both starting edge players out and only rotational reserves behind them, the Cowboys were in quite the predicament against the Chargers. Do they live by the “next man up” mantra or do they adapt to the situation at hand and find a work-around?

I think you know the answer to that one.

To the glee of many, the Dallas Cowboys immediately started working their rookie linebacker into the defensive end drills in practice. The uber-athletic linebacker out of Penn State has top edge player traits, but virtually no training (please don’t call high school snaps as experience).

The move to DE was understandable, but hardly a no-brainer. Yet it was a risk the Dallas Cowboys appeared to fully commit to. Instead of hedging and bouncing Parsons between DE and MIKE like many of us expected them to, they jumped both feet in. And it’s safe to say the move paid off.

Parsons finished the day with eight pressures, four hurries, one sack, and one hit. His 40% pass-rush win-rate was elite by NFL standards and made him top-5 in the NFL on Sunday. His pressures are the most the league has seen from a rookie since Nick Bosa. It’s safe to say he feasted in the new role.

Micah Parsons didn’t pull from the deepest arsenal of pass rush moves, he accomplished this on mostly natural ability. It’s crazy to think about how good he can be if he dedicates to the craft and actually learns more technique and strategy, isn’t it?

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These are all three examples of the Dallas Cowboys adapting as a team and successfully dealing with adversity. The players deserve praise but don’t forget to pat the coaching staff on the back too because none of this would be possible if they hadn’t been so willing to change.