That’s my initial reaction to the Cowboys draft. Off-ball linebacker at 12? Don't understand this pick at all.
I knew something was amiss when Demarcus Ware said on the Barstool EnEffEl show the Micah Parsons was on the radar for the Cowboys at #10.
I mean, he was barely mentioned in any of the Cowboys pre-draft articles and blogs. Almost exclusively they talked about either a corner (Horn or Surtain) or offensive line (Sewell if somehow he fell or Slater).
Micah Parsons? You could see on my face how bewildered I was, and I know from having interviewed Demarcus before, he’s still a consultant for the Cowboys. So he knew what was up.
Micah Parson is a linebacker from Penn State (Linebacker U) who for a long time was considered a top pick, but who had fallen FAST in the past week. Todd McShay wrote two days before the draft that Parsons “is falling as we speak [and] is going to fall further than most anticipate.” Why you might ask? “He’s got off the field issues, some past character stuff and things teams are concerned about.” So even though a lot of people think he was the most talented defender in this draft, whole bunch of teams were uninterested in drafting him. McShay speculated he might go in the low teens.
You know who wasn’t turned off by off the field chatter? Jerry Jones.
So when I heard Ware talking about it? I didn’t like it, because although they need a linebacker for sure, they have other more pressing needs. Don’t get me wrong, the linebacker corp has been BAD. But an off-ball linebacker at 12?? I don't get that at all. Smith and LVE had issues last year. LVE was hurt, Smith was TERRIBLE. And I certainly wasn’t the only one disappointed by this pick.
Even Parsons seemed surprised to go that high:
And there are some nice aspects to the story. Parsons has wanted to be a Cowboy for a long time, and now he gets to replace a longtime Cowboy legend in Sean Lee, who retired a few days ago and also hails from Penn State.
But this team got COOKED all year. The run defense was terrible, yes, but the ENTIRE defense sucked. And the worst part was the secondary. According to PFF they had the 29th ranked secondary in 2020. They gave up 16 touchdown of over 15 yards. Ouch.
And the book on Parsons is that he cannot drop into coverage. Pretty much his weakest attribute.
So this is concerning.
By the way Jerry Jones said he was not drafting any player who opted out. Guess who opted out last year? Yep. Micah.
Anyway, his strengths are that he was a defensive end most of his career. He’s very strong, and very fast, and one of the best athletes in the draft. We don’t know if Micah Parsons might be used as a pass rusher, because Dan Quinn rarely blitzes and we still don’t know if they’re going to run a 3-4 or a 4-3! I don’t want to hear Mike Nolan’s spiel about getting the best players out there. Fuck Mike Nolan. If Nolan said it, you know it’s wrong.
The really big upside of drafting Parsons, is they forced the Eagles hand. In a blind panic over missing out on a wide receiver, and knowing that they were taking Parsons at #10 anyway, the Eagles traded a 2022 3rd rounder to swap from the #12 to the #10 and chose DeVonta Smith.
The Cowboys have more picks than anyone in the NFL this year, including three picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Of course I’d like to see them shore up the secondary, get a defensive lineman, and help for the offensive line. Keanu Neal can play safety (the Cowboys play to play him at WLB), so that need is less important, but getting a corner is a must. The Cowboys offensive line which was so broken by injury last year is reportedly healthy, but so much can happen between now and the start of the season.
I could be wrong about Micah Parsons. Demarcus Ware was excited about it, but I think that had more to do with the fact that Jerry got his guy than anything else. There’s a lot to like about him, so I hope he works out.
All I would like to say is in closing, is the FUCK THE CINCINNATI BENGALS. If they take Sewell like any rational team trying to protect a franchise QB coming off a devastating injury, then Detroit takes Parsons and we take Horn or Surtain and everyone’s happy. Now poor Joey Burrow is gonna get buried again because they passed on a generational talent at #6, and we got a big question mark instead of a lockdown corner.
The Cowboys have to make lemonade out of lemons.