The Dallas Cowboys have decided against granting linebacker Micah Parsons’ request to make a full-time transition to the defensive end position.
Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, made the announcement during a press conference, stating that Parsons would continue to play as a Linebacker.
Quinn addressed the media, clarifying the team’s position on Parsons’ request. “He’s a pass-rushing linebacker. If there are any position changes, come to me,” Quinn stated firmly. This decision comes in response to a recent personal statement from Parsons, in which he told media and fans he’s moving to “Full-time Defensive end” position for the upcoming season.
Cowboys DC Dan Quinn says Micah Parsons is not making a full-time move to defensive end. “He’s a pass-rushing linebacker. If you ever need position changes, come to me. What I think he was probably trying to say is, ‘I’m really emphasizing some pass rush into my offseason.’”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 13, 2023
Quinn further explained his interpretation of Parsons’ statement, suggesting that the linebacker was emphasizing his pass-rushing skills during the offseason. He noted that keeping Parsons in his current role allowed the team to leverage his exceptional athleticism in various formations, rather than confining him to a static role typically associated with a stand-up 4-3 front.
The Cowboys’ defensive strategy has been built around their talented front line, giving Quinn the flexibility to deploy a nickel base defense. This approach, which features additional defensive backs, has yielded successful results and is expected to continue into the 2023 season.
With an abundance of talent and athleticism on the roster, the Cowboys’ defense is poised for another top-10 performance. The recent acquisition of star cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the Colts further bolsters the team’s defensive prowess.
Earlier this month, Parsons had sparked speculation about his position change when he announced his intention to transition to a full-time defensive end role. However, he clarified that his weight gain during the offseason would not exceed 255 pounds. Standing at 6’3″ and currently weighing 252 pounds, Parsons emphasized that his goal was to add muscle and strength without compromising his speed and agility.
Lol people here bulk and think I’m going from 246- 270!! If you seen any of my videos I’m still very slim and I’m putting on good weight! I’m standing at 252 currently! I will not surpass 255 at anytime in my career! This is just me putting on more muscle to carry the load!
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) May 3, 2023
The Cowboys’ decision to deny Parsons’ request to permanently switch positions could potentially be influenced by financial considerations.
Historically, defensive ends and pass-rushers tend to earn more than linebackers, particularly when it comes to contract negotiations and the application of the franchise tag. As the 12th overall pick in the 2021 Draft, Parsons has already established himself as a star with an impressive record of 26.5 sacks in his first two seasons.
His contract runs through 2025, and it is highly likely that the team will exercise the fifth-year option on his contract. It is anticipated that Parsons will sign a new deal before that period concludes, but the financial aspect is worth keeping in mind.
Highest Average Per Year LB to Pass-Rusher pic.twitter.com/GjZDNkRz3Q
— Follow @NFL_DovKleiman (@nfldov) May 15, 2023
At just 23 years old, Parsons has already achieved remarkable success in his young career. He has been named to two All-Pro teams, earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2021, and received Pro Bowl honors in both of his NFL seasons.
While Parsons’ desire to transition to the defensive end position has been met with resistance from the Cowboys organization, it remains to be seen how this decision will impact his performance and the team’s defensive strategy moving forward.