When the Dallas Cowboys drafted linebacker Micah Parsons back in April they got the best defensive player coming out of the college ranks. Since he’s arrived in North Texas, he’s shown that he’s more than just an off-the-ball linebacker.
The Cowboys haven’t just used him on the second level but they’ve had him rush the passer from the edge and the interior, making him quite the swiss army knife for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. However, like any other rookie, Parsons has had to adjust to the NFL game. During the Cowboy’s final preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he talked about what he’s had to learn the most.
“The biggest adjustment is just learning everything,” Parsons said. “Learning what the D-line’s doing, learning what the DB’s doing, making all the calls and checks, and really getting prepared to — and going against elite competition every day in practice. That’s the biggest adjustment but I think I’ve been doing pretty well.”
Parsons and the Cowboy defense have a huge test on September 9 when they kick off the 2021 season against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady. Going up against who many feel is the greatest quarterback of all time doesn’t phase Parsons though. Instead, he’s excited about the opportunity.
“I’m super excited,” Parsons said. “I can’t wait to get out there and really show what I can do. It’s going to be the first shot at a journey. We’re starting off with the champs.”
The Buccaneers have weapons galore on offense. Mike Evans, Chris Goodwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, and OJ Howard provide a lethal arsenal in the passing game. Their depth at running back is excellent as well with Robert Jones II, Leonard Fournette, and Giovani Bernard.
For the Cowboy’s defense to be successful against the Buccaneers offense they will need Parsons to have his sideline to sideline speed and multidimensional skill set on full display. The 12 overall pick recognizes the task at hand as he mentioned recently when speaking on what he and his defensive counterparts have to do next Thursday when facing Brady and company.
“They got a lot of weapons,” Parsons said. “We’re just going to have to go weapon on weapon and see who outlasts the other weapon. Slow him down. Put some pressure on him. And hopefully, we come up with a turnover off of a mistake.”
Understandably, the Cowboys monitored the snaps of Parsons in the preseason to preserve him for the regular season. If it were up to the former Nittany Lion he would have played a lot more. He feels he’s been limited but knows that will change Week 1.
“I feel like I wasn’t able to fully go-go yet,” Parsons said after the Cowboys preseason game against the Houston Texans. “I feel like the leash is still on. But we’re going to let it off soon.
“We’re just very limited right now, not trying to show too much. I’m kind of just biting my tongue because I know what we’re really capable of.”
The leash on Parsons will certainly have to be thrown in the closet if the Cowboy’s defense is to have a chance to slow down the Buccaneers.