Dallas Cowboys All-Pro LB Micah Parsons has been the catalyst of this defense this season. A defense that is coming off it’s most dominant performance since Week 11.
For Parsons in particular is coming off one of his best games of the season. Three QB pressures, two tackles for loss, a sack and two pass breakups.
But what made Parsons look more like the Defensive Player of the Year candidate and less of just another edge rusher was a return to normalcy. Using him in multiple spots, rather than sticking him to just one side.
.@dallascowboys @MicahhParsons11 is the MPP; ( Micah parsons problem) and the @Buccaneers had no answers. This was just the first half…more of the same in the 2nd half. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/RMmCfqzlc7— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) January 17, 2023
Parsons’ most eye-opening plays have come as a modified edge rusher/outside linebacker. Setting the edges, blitzing from the five gap or even as a wide nine (outside the tight end).
While keeping him in that same spot does make every quarterback have to fear their blindside (except Tua Tagovailoa who’s left-handed) it has pigeonholed him to a specific spot, making it easier for opposing quarterbacks to know where he is on the field.
His position flexibility is an enormous factor into what makes him so dangerous. As an edge rusher, defensive end, lining up in the slot, inside, in coverage, playing the run on the edges, etc.
In recent weeks, the Dallas Cowboys have played him strictly as an edge. A factor to which Parsons attributes to a heavier wear and tear on this season.
The Wildcard round reminded everyone how effective he is as an all-around defender.
Going up against San Francisco, who can attack you in multiple ways in the run game (outside zone, pull and traps, etc.) as well as a passing attack that will put the Cowboys defense on its toes.
Allowing him to roam the field to make up for any defensive deficiencies.
Simply putting Micah Parsons across from OT Trent Williams all game keeps the unicorn in the stables.
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron of USA TODAY Sports