For the second time in three weeks, the Dallas Cowboys have lost in fairly spectacular fashion. As such, spirits are inevitably down as we enter Thanksgiving week and prepare for the football team formerly known as Oakland.
While the doom and gloom is real and none of Dallas’ issues should be taken lightly, there is a bright side to this low pressure system of sadness: the emergence of Micah Parsons.
Micah Parsons has been a shining light for the Dallas Cowboys during these dismal injury-riddled days.
When rushing the passer, Micah Parsons has been utterly dominant for the Cowboys this season. according to ESPN stats and info, Parsons is the first player since Terrell Suggs in 2013 to collect 60 tackles and 8 sacks in the first 10 games of the season. Not first rookie, but first player.
Parsons is blessed with a superhero toolbox of skills. He’s big like a defensive lineman. He’s faster than most cornerbacks. He’s stronger than most linebackers. He’s more explosive than most running backs. And he’s more agile than most skill players.
Micah Parsons was a favorite to win defensive rookie of the year the day he was drafted. Now he’s a virtual lock. And a big reason why is Dallas’ injury situation along the defensive line.
We’ve seen that with just a healthy Randy Gregory the Cowboys are quick to move Parsons back off the line. Even though his stats say he’s one of the most accomplished pass-rushers in the NFL, he’s not even a full-time edge player. In fact, Parsons has more snaps off-the-ball this season than he does playing edge or defensive line.
It stands to reason this enormous success is mostly possible because the Dallas Cowboys ran out of options and essentially stumbled into it.
Jerry Jones said they always intended to use Micah as a part-time pass rusher, so in all fairness, some of this is according to plan. But there’s no way we see this kind of production with this amount of opportunities if Randy Gregory and/or DeMarcus Lawrence is healthy.
It’s clear the Cowboys injury situation at defensive end pushed him into full-time edge work on Sunday. All he did was reward us with a truly masterful performance. If Gregory had been playing there’s a good chance the vast majority of Parsons snaps would have been at the less-impactful, off-ball linebacker position. We would have been robbed of this one shinning moment from an otherwise terrible game.
If we want to look for a bright side to this dismal mess, let’s look at what the Dallas Cowboys stumbled into with Micah Parsons. They know when they eventually get Lawrence and Gregory back they cannot afford to banish Parsons to linebacker. They will be compelled to keep moving him around and using him as a disrupter. And that’s excellent news.