After a disappointing season in 2016, the Dallas Cowboys defense needed a complete overhaul. The truth is the Cowboys defense has been horrible for a while. In the last 5 seasons, the Dallas defense has ranked in the bottom half of the league, despite the fact that they have a superstar in their secondary, and a linebacker corps lead by Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens. High pressure defense is a system built around being in the backfield before the ball is snapped, and stopping the run. If the Cowboys are going to get a better defense, the rookie from Washington State University, Micah Parsons is going to need to be a game changer.
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett mentioned a few times this off-season that he wanted to get a little bit younger, and possibly a little bit more athletic, on the defensive side of the ball. Having been drafted out of Baylor, Baylor alum and rookie cornerback Micah Parsons could be a key piece in fixing that.
Last season, the Dallas Cowboys failed to win the dismal NFC East and finished at 6-10, one game behind Washington. Yes, injuries to quarterback Dak Prescott and backup Andy Dalton have hampered the offense. But even with those setbacks, Dallas finished the season ranked in the middle of the NFL in scoring and total offense. Jerry Jones didn’t just select a defenseman in the first round. According to reports from minicamp, new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has already introduced his new weapon, midfielder Micah Parsons. Last season, the Cowboys ranked fifth in the NFL (473), had 10 fewer yards on defense, allowed 34 passing touchdowns (third in the league) and 20 rushing touchdowns (seventh). Pressure on the quarterback is a hit or miss (mostly miss) for Dallas. The Cowboys were in the bottom half of the league with a 22.8% pressure rate. Their totals of 56 interceptions and 31 sacks are in the same range. Quinn would use Parsons to put pressure on the opposing quarterback.
Micah Parsons was a very valuable asset as 12th overall
. The Dallas Cowboys got Mika Parsons, the best linebacker in the 2021 draft class, by taking him with the 12th pick. The Philadelphia Eagles had the highest pick and traded him to number 10 to get receiver DeVonta Smith. Parsons dropped out of his freshman year at Penn State and enlisted in the Army. So his last competitive football game was the Nittany Lions’ victory over Memphis in the Cotton Bowl in December 2019. He had 14 interceptions as a sophomore, along with five interceptions, five pass defenses and four forced fumbles. Quinn, who coached the Seattle Seahawks’ defense, won two Super Bowls and got a ring, and then went 43-42 in more than five seasons as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, wants to strengthen the Cowboys’ pressure group. According to the Dallas Morning News, Parsons is a designated pass breaker. So far, Quinn has used Parsons as a DPR and midfielder. Parsons likes the idea of taking an active role in the passing rush. They only create chaos and disruption. Being able to create that excitement, change the momentum, give our explosive offense a chance to get the ball and get it back. That’s what I like about passport protection. Mika Parsons
Dallas Cowboys could use some help
Penn State Nittany Lions’ Micah Parsons (11) during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in December 2019. Parsons will now live in the same stadium as the Dallas Cowboys team. | Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was the Dallas Cowboys’ top pass breaker in 2020 with 6.5 sacks. That’s five more than in 2019, but a far cry from his Pro Bowl campaigns in 2017 and 2018, when he scored 14½ and 10½ points, respectively. Defensive lineman Aldon Smith, returning from a four-year suspension for violating NFL personal conduct and substance abuse rules, was second on the club with five sacks last season. However, in free agency, he signed with the Seahawks. Having Mika Parsons selected in the first round will help the Cowboys return to the postseason for the first time since 2018. In the long run, of course, Dallas hopes Parsons becomes a key part of the defense that brings Dallas back into the game. The Cowboys have not advanced beyond the divisional round since their last Super Bowl victory following the 1995 season.
Parsons brings versatility to midfield in Dallas
. One of the most attractive aspects of Mikey Parsons is his ability to play both inside and outside at the center position. There are things he needs to improve on, but that’s the case with almost every young player coming into the NFL. According to Lance Zierlein’s report on NFL.com, Parsons can sometimes rush forward too much and take himself out of the game, but that and his ability to be patient to spot offensive tackles will come with experience. But he has explosive speed, and his willingness to take on the role of pass rusher will benefit the defense of Dallas, which ranks 27th in the NFL in third-down completion percentage. More saves almost always means more wins. That’s a solid theory to build on if Dallas wants to recover from a couple of disappointing seasons. Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference. COMPARED TO: Cowboys WR Michael Gallup recently announced his intentions forfree agency.