Dallas Cowboys: The impact of Micah Parsons and a well-rounded secondary

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys are building something special on defense. Not only to they have that high end talent at the top but they also have the well-rounded complementary players in place to provide a stable and trustworthy product.

The key to it all is investing in the right pieces at the right places.

The Dallas Cowboys will be wise to invest in a truly elite pass-rusher like Micah Parsons and surround him with deep and talented secondary.

Pass-rushers like Parsons are stable but not always impactful.

Micah Parsons was arguably the best pass-rusher on the planet in 2022. According to Next Gen Stats and PFF tracking, he leads the NFL in pressure percentage, meaning he impacted a play roughly a quarter of the times he was rushing the passer.

Another way of looking at that is he had no measurable impact on three-quarters of his pass-rushing plays he was involved in (such is the nature of a pass-rusher).

Yet, pass-rushers have the ability to impose their will and aren’t quite as dependent on the offense as coverage players are.

Coverage is a single-point failure system

Coverage players are the complete opposite of pass-rushers because they are targeted, rather than avoided.

They each are impactful 100 percent of the time because if one falls on his face, he’ll likely give up a big play (if a pass-rusher falls on his face nothing happens because the passer still has to beat the coverage) .

A single botched play by a player in coverage could bring on disastrous results, whereas pass-rushers are known to coast on some plays as they go through the motions of a pass-rush.

Coverage is a single point failure system where all it takes is one weak link and the entire unit suffers. That’s why it’s important to have a deep unit. High end players like Trevon Diggs and Stephon Gilmore are great, but depth is just as important.

What does all of this tell us?

Having one elite pass rusher can still get the job done, even if all the pass-rushers around him are below average. Having one elite coverage player often won’t get the job done if all coverage players around him are below average (because teams will just target them instead).

A well-rounded secondary is severely underrated and when packaged with someone like Micah Parsons it can be maximized. Luckily for the Cowboys they have a few plus players with Parsons to rush the passer too.

They presently have the best of both worlds.

  • Published on 06/21/2023 at 22:01 PM
  • Last updated at 06/21/2023 at 22:01 PM