One of the biggest selling points from the Dallas Cowboys front office on their first-round pick Micah Parsons was the versatility he provided to a defense. They spoke of his ability to work as an off-ball linebacker, a pass rusher off the edge, as a run defender, and as a blitzer from the traditional linebacker set.
As the Cowboys gathered their rookies and several players for tryouts, the former standout from Penn State put his versatility on display.
Micah Parsons will likely do a little bit of everything at the linebacker position, from box work to rushing in certain packages, and that was on display Saturday. The first-round pick showed explosiveness diagnosing and busting up a couple of run plays, and he also got past fourth-round pick Josh Ball on one play while rushing from the left edge.
Nick Eatman and Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com
Many of the questions surrounding Parsons have been about where the Dallas Cowboys would deploy him in Dan Quinn’s defense. That’s not going to be an easy question to answer because he’ll be doing a lot of things for the Cowboys. In base 4-3 or 3-4 looks he could line up at any of the linebacker spots and in any particular role.
This versatility and the Dallas Cowboys’ plan to use him in a variety of roles makes using the 12th overall pick to select him that much more intriguing. As simply an off-ball linebacker, Parsons isn’t nearly as interesting of a player. But his athleticism and ability to function as a pass rusher should provide a much higher ceiling than is typical for your standard MIKE linebacker.
The Dallas Cowboys need Parsons to be a gamechanger for a long-time to come. Their last two selections in the top 40 have had mixed results and it appears that turnover at the position is coming in the next year or two. The Cowboys need Parsons to be the game wrecker they hope he’ll be. They can’t afford another linebacker miss from the top of the draft. Without health issues clouding his potential, Parsons certainly has the upside to be a force for Dan Quinn and the Dallas Cowboys defense.
If the Cowboys stay true to their plan for Micah Parsons, which was unveiled at rookie minicamp then the Cowboys have a playmaker on their hands. Parsons will be in the backfield a lot bringing down both running backs and quarterbacks.